‘Inadequate’ care home that failed to uphold residents’ human rights placed in special measures

Date published: 06 January 2022

A care home that failed to uphold residents’ human rights has been placed in special measures.

Clare Mount, in Middleton, is now rated as ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following a ‘focused inspection’ of the premises.

Based on Rochdale Road, the home provides nursing and personal care for up to 29 people over 65 – including those with dementia, mental health conditions and sensory impairments.

It had previously been classed as ‘good’  but officials visited the home on a number of occasions in November 2021 after concerns were raised over the staffing and management of the service.

Inspectors looked into how safe, effective, responsive and well-led the home – run by Rose Petals Health Care Ltd –  was, and found it ‘inadequate’ in every area.

A damning report says there was a ‘lack of personalised support’ and staff ‘did not treat people as individuals’.

“The culture was poor at the service and people’s human rights were not being upheld,” it adds.

Inspectors found one person who spent all their time in their room did not have a working TV or batteries for their radio, while another resident’s religious and cultural needs were not being met.

Clothing was also being shared between residents and there was ‘a distinct lack of underwear found in people’s rooms’.

These care practices were said to ‘demonstrate a lack of respect for people’s individuality and dignity’.

Communication was ‘poor’. Officials noted ‘the majority of staff did not have English as their first language and some did not always actively try to engage with people living at the home’.

Elsewhere, the report describes the main lounge as being ‘very noisy and institutional in nature’, with some residents telling inspectors it was ‘chaos’.

The watchdog also found that oversight was not ‘robust’ enough to safeguard people from the risk of abuse – putting them ‘at risk of harm’.

“Staff’s understanding of safeguarding was limited,” the report reads.

“For example, we became aware of an individual who had approached us in pain, from a serious skin breakdown on their back. We raised this as an issue with a staff member who did not recognise this as a problem and told us that it was not being treated.”

Officials also had to raise a safeguarding alert with the council over a person with an open wound and ensure they had access to medical treatment.

The report goes on to note how one resident did not receive prescribed eye drops for 18 days and that medicines were not always given or applied as prescribed.

There was a lack of oral healthcare for people and inspectors found that tubes of denture adhesive had been provided instead of toothpaste.

Moreover, the report records a catalogue of safety issues – from bath hoists not fitted with safety belts to chemicals that, on two occasions, were not safely locked away from residents.

The fire system was ‘bleeping continually’ but was not picked up by anyone, suggesting fire safety was not being taken seriously.

Meanwhile, records showed not all staff were taking part in fire drills, raising concerns about the staff’s ability to manage risks around fire safety.

On a more positive note, people generally told inspectors that the food was good, and professionals who had recently visited the service described staff as caring and helpful.

Many issues raised by inspectors during the visit were quickly addressed by staff or management, but there were three breaches of care regulations.

The CQC will reinspect the home within six months to check ‘significant improvements’ have been made.

If it fails to do so, the watchdog will begin the process of closing the home down by stopping the provider from running the service.

The home was contacted for comment by the Local Democracy Service.

A person who identified themselves as the ‘senior nurse’ said an action plan had been drawn up and the home was working with the council and CQC to make the necessary improvements.

The full report can be found on the CQC website.

Nick Statham, Local Democracy Reporter

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