- Sarah Whitebloom
Second death and police probe of abuse allegations send CQC teams into 'Good' care homes - a
OFFICIAL reports reveal, for the second time in as many weeks, the authorities are investigating a care home death - as staff admit working in a Manchester home, which is the subject of a police abuse inquiry, is: ‘Very very unsafe. Very scary’.
According to the Care Quality Commission, it sent a team of inspectors into Trevaylor Manor in Penzance, after an elderly resident choked to death. And, the care regulator revealed, for the second week running, police are investigating a home – this time, possible long term abuse at Stretton Nursing home, Hereford. Both homes have now been branded 'Inadequate' but, as recently as 2016, were recommended as 'Good' by the CQC.
Last week, OLM discovered that police have launched an inquiry into the death in hospital of an elderly person linked to Forest Care Village in Borehamwood. The CQC slapped an ‘Inadequate’ rating on the Hertfordshire-based mega-home and was highly-critical in a distressing report on life there.
This week, the CQC admitted it sent inspectors to another home, Trevaylor Manor, after an elderly person choked to death and the authorities launched an investigation. The CQC’s report states: ‘This incident is subject to a further investigation and as a result this inspection did not examine the circumstances.'
The regulator branded the 81-bed Cornish home ‘Inadequate’ and revealed that staff still did not know what to do in the event of a resident choking. The report states: ‘There were no procedures for staff to follow in the event of a choking incident. One staff member told us; "I know about the choking event, we have not had any specific guidance provided since”.’
Aside from this shocking admission, the CQC team detail an appalling culture in the Penzance home, with frail residents not respected and ignored, while their medical needs were neglected and medicines were badly mishandled. Inspectors interviewed staff, who said: ‘"It isn't as good as it used to be. Things are really going downhill fast"; "Morale is not good, we are often short staffed at night, a lot of agency"; "Staffing...is low and with only one nurse it is difficult sometimes."’
Meanwhile, at Stretton care home in Hereford, staff were even more candid, telling a CQC team 'about their high levels of stress at work and how they worried about making a mistake'.
'They described working at the home as, "Very, very unsafe. And very scary".'
The CQC went into Stretton, which has now been served with an ‘Inadequate’ grade, after police launched an investigation into allegations that residents were left unprotected from abuse at the 50-bed home over a lengthy period.
‘The police were leading an investigation into allegations of abuse involving a number of people who used the service. The allegations related to a time period of the past two years. This investigation was on-going.’
According to the report, people were at risk of being cared for by staff members ‘who did not safeguard them from abuse or improper treatment’.
On top of this, the CQC found distressing scenes, with residents neglected and left in bed until the afternoon, because of lack of staff. There were concerns over malnutrition and dehydration.
Both homes must institute a programme of improvement or risk being closed.
Not that it will be any comfort to relatives, but they are joint OLM Worst Homes of the Week.