• Sarah Whitebloom

Official reports show some poor care homes failed to follow COVID-19 safety measures.

Recently published official inspection reports show a series of care homes - including luxury facilities - were found wanting by inspectors in terms of COVID-19 control measures, which potentially left frail residents vulnerable to the deadly virus.

Reports from the Care Quality Commission show some poorly-rated homes were severely criticised for lack of infection control and down-graded by official inspectors following recent investigations.

At Luton residential home, Capwell Grange, a 146-bed high-end nursing and mental health facility, owned by the UK’s leading care home operator, HC-One (slogan the kind care company), the inspectors said: ‘We looked at how COVID19 was being managed at the home. We found serious shortfalls.’

According to its own publicity, Hulton House in Preston is ‘More like a five star hotel than a nursing home’. In fact, the inspectors found it ‘Inadequate’ on all counts.

Owned by L&M Healthcare, its website shows luxurious surroundings. But the inspectors said ‘People were not always protected from this risk of transmitting Covid-19 and other infectious disease because we found a number of staff failed to comply with the use of personal protective clothing and the processes to manage infection control were not robust.’

Another luxury home, The Maltings, in Fakenham, Norfolk charges for residential care from £860 per week. But the inspectors said of The Four Seasons’ home: ‘Staff were not adhering to government guidance regarding the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

‘We saw staff providing care and support with no masks on, including helping people to eat their meals and preparing food. PPE was not used appropriately by staff administering medicines to people....'

These are just a snapshot and there is no suggestion that individuals contracted COVID-19 a a result of failings. However, with negative reports now outnumbering good reports – of those currently being published by the CQC – there must be concerns about the impact of poor care.

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