Care home blasted by inspectors

A CARE home has been ordered to clean up its act after inspectors uncovered a catalogue of “significant” issues during a surprise visit.

Filthy toilets were discovered, together with soiled incontinence wear lying on the floor and chairs which stank of urine.

One resident was left screaming in distress while staff ignored the cries for help.

And two other were ignored as they cried for help.

“Service users were not always treated with respect and dignity,” stated inspectors in their final report.

The upsetting incidents are just a few examples in a lengthy list uncovered at the 50-bed Glan-yr-afon Care Home in Georgetown, when officers from the Care Standards Inspectorate Wales called in unannounced.

Operators of the home, HC-One, who took over last November, will now have to meet standards before a future inspection. And they have agreed to take in no new service users at this stage.

A spokesman for the operators of the home said they were “disappointed” at the report and vowed to take the findings seriously in order to improve.

The list of its failings include:

n A screaming service user being ignored in the lounge despite their care plan stating they disliked the lounge and television; two users who were crying in distress at the scene were also ignored.

n Residents who were bedridden complained they were rarely talked to by staff and given little to no social interaction.

n Two residents were discovered partially dressed with no bed clothes covering them, their doors left wide open so visitors could see.

n One resident was admitted to the home without the correct sling for manual handling – this left them bedridden for three weeks.

n In a situation described as “unacceptable”, one resident was overmedicated because written guidelines were not available for their dosage, leading to “longer periods of sedation” that could lead to “deprivation of a person’s liberty”; two residents had repeatedly refused their medication and no action had been taken.

n Staff on duty had not received training on the home’s medication system, while the giving of medication was not always being recorded.

n Confidential files of patient records were left on a desk on the top floor easily accessible to read for anyone who walked by.

n Low staff numbers in the dementia ward meant residents had often been left unattended, leading to residents threatening and attempting to fight each other, along with residents falling.

n One bathroom was in the process of being renovated and had red wires hanging down from the light fitting. The bathroom remained accessible to residents, despite staff not being sure if the electricity had been switched off. A store cupboard filled with cleaning chemicals was also accessible to residents.

n Chairs in the dementia unit and some bedrooms had a “strong odour of urine”, while some toilets were caked in faeces, wash basins were clogged and baths dirty.

n Yellow bags used to collect used incontinence wear were left on floors, not disposed in bins.

Inspectors concluded: “The current task focused culture within the home does not always provide residents with a good quality of life.

“Both inspectors observed that service users were not always treated with respect and dignity, they lacked choice in their daily lives and little emotional support was offered to residents when they were upset.”

The home, recently taken over by HC-ONE Limited after the Southern Cross crisis, will now have to meet standards before a future inspection.

If they don’t, a timetable for compliance will be drawn up by the inspectorate – with further failure leading to potential rolling inspections or even civil or criminal action.

In response, a spokeswoman for HC-One said: “We were extremely disappointed to find these issues so soon after having taken over the home from the previous management this past November. We have been working tirelessly since then to improve the service so as to meet the standards which we, the residents, their families, committed members of staff and the local authorities know must be met.

“As the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) report notes, we have already identified areas in which the home must improve and have made progress – this will and must continue.

“We have implemented a robust action plan including significant leadership changes at the home. We are absolutely committed to raising the standard of care being provided.

“The residents and their families need to know that these sorts of issues will not continue under our management and that we are working very hard to enhance the quality of the home.

“We will continue to work closely and transparently with the CSSIW and Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council to deliver the highest standards of care to all those who we support.

“That will always be our number one priority – day in day out.”

Do you have a relative at the home?

Call the Merthyr Express on 01685 789230.


Sourced from Wales Online, 26th April 2012.