It was not a good week for the care industry. More than 50 care homes for older people were found to be Inadequate or Require Improvement - more than half of homes inspected.
The 13 Inadequate homes between them can cater for 100s of vulnerable people, many with dementia, and some of the reports are, frankly, distressing. Sometimes it is not necessary to add anything to what the official Care Quality Commission inspectors said. This is one of those occasions.
In terms of Angel Court, in Birmingham - OLM's Worst Home of the Week - they could not have been more damning. The home, which houses 28 older people, was found to be failing in all five areas – safety, effectiveness, caring, leadership and responsiveness. And what a dreadful picture the inspectors described:
‘People told us they did not always feel safe in their environment due to other people wandering into their bedrooms. One person told us, "I don't feel very safe at night, or sometimes in the day. .. A third person said, "There's some [people] on this floor in and out of my room all the time. They take my stuff".’
The CQC went on to say: ‘One person told us, "They [staff] are nice enough but I'd say there aren't enough of them. Not anymore... A further person said, "I wanted my hair washing… but the staff say they haven't got time. There just aren't enough of them. They are nice enough but they are run off their feet".
‘We saw staff including the registered manager entering people's bedrooms without knocking and seeking consent. We saw an example of a member of staff enter the dining room, reach over a person's shoulder and from behind dip their fork into food and feed the person. This resulted in the person being startled and pushing the food away.
' We saw multiple examples of people's dignity being compromised during the inspection. For example; we saw one person sitting in the lounge area with their trousers down for a period of two and a half hours....We also saw a person walking into the lounge with their dress unbuttoned, wearing no bra...We saw that for a period of 15 minutes staff failed to assist the person and protect their dignity.’
The bizarre thing is that Angel Court was described as ‘Good’ only 18 months ago in a report from the CQC. In those months, it had declined dramatically in all areas so that the 28 residents were placed at risk both physically and emotionally.
Other homes which received ‘Inadequate’ ratings this week were:
Woolston Mead – Liverpool
Charlton Grange – Sheppteron
St Claire’s Folkestone
Swansea Terrace – Preston
Fairview House – Westcliffe-on-sea
Winscombe Hall - Winscombe
Whittingham House - Southend
Manor Farm - Lowestoft
Yew Trees - Dukinfield
Thornton Lodge - Salford