A care home which looks after vulnerable people with dementia and mental illnesses has been threatened with closure after inspectors found a catalogue of ‘horrifying’ failures.
Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found that some residents at Lyme Green Hall, on London Road, had been given the wrong dosage of medication while others were ‘at risk of malnutrition and abuse’ while under the home’s care.
Council bosses have now suspended the care home from making new admissions.
The report found that a single member of staff was left to care for 17 people.
One inspector was forced to intervene when a resident was at immediate risk of falling without a member of staff on hand and then had to wait 13 minutes for support.
The damning report, which found the Sutton home to be ‘inadequate’ in all areas, was the result of a series of unannounced inspections after concerns were raised on behalf of several people who used the service.
The care provider has been told that as part of the special measures they will be kept under review and must be found to be ‘significantly improving’.
Otherwise enforcement action could be taken by the commission which could include closing the care home, which can cater for up to 60 residents.
Councillor Hilda Gaddum, who represents the Sutton ward, described the report as ‘horrifying’.
She said: “The relatives of people being cared for expect their loved ones to be treated well. These are elderly people, many with dementia who are among the most vulnerable. I would hope immediate improvements are being made as a result of this report.”
CQC inspectors said in their report: “We found that the service was not safe, effective, caring, responsive or well-led.
“There was an insufficient number of suitably trained and competent staff on duty to meet the needs of the 49 people who lived at the home.
“Care staff were unable to administer people’s medicines safely and effectively. There was no medicines policy and any training staff had received had proved to be inadequate.
“One person had been given too high a dose of one of their medicines on three consecutive days.
“The staff member responsible told us they had not read the pharmacy label properly.
“Another person was not receiving one of their prescribed eye drops or the correct dose of another eye drop.
“Over a period of time this could harm their sight.”
It continued: “Vulnerable people remained at risk of abuse because staff failed to take action as soon as they were alerted to alleged or actual abuse.
“Recruitment and selection of staff was not always carried out safely, which meant vulnerable people were at risk of receiving care from unsuitable people.”
The report is equally scathing about the food, saying residents were “at risk of malnutrition” because there was no effective monitoring of the dietary intake and weights of people concerned.
The report said some staff said they had never seen patients’ care plans or they did not get time to read them.
It said: “We found that staff had developed inappropriate care practices that restricted people’s freedom of movement or left them at risk of harm,.
“These included moving a person’s zimmer frame away from them to prevent them from attempting to walk and not allowing a person to sit at the dining table in an attempt to avoid confrontation.”
Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for adult social care and integration, said: “We are working closely with the management team at Lyme Green Hall and are undertaking regular checks to ensure that the home is operating safely. Lyme Green Hall remains subject to a suspension for all admissions, which has been agreed with the CQC and the council.”
Bosses at Lyme Green Hall care home say they have drafted in a new management team to bring the services back up to scratch.
Christopher Morse, managing director of Assured Healthcare Solutions, which is responsible for Lyme Green Hall, has announced a new senior management team following the ‘upsetting’ report which he says resulted from a ‘decline in standards’.
He said: “The CQC inspection at Lyme Green Hall in October 2017 was serious cause for concern for all of us. The provision of safe and dignified care has always been central to our business and the results shown in this report were upsetting for us, our residents and their families.
“It quickly became apparent that there had been a failure of day-to-day operational management at the care home. Our internal investigations indicated that the decline in standards was precipitated by a change of senior management at Lyme Green Hall. Up to that point the home had operated effectively for many years.
“Following the inspection, we have taken several steps to address the many issues raised by the CQC, making significant changes to the day-to- day management of Lyme Green Hall and improving the care systems and processes.
“The operational management of Lyme Green Hall is now controlled by Assured Healthcare Solutions Ltd incorporating Liberty Healthcare Solutions Ltd, which operate two sites which CQC have rated as good status in all five categories. This new management team is implementing an action plan agreed with the CQC and the local authority.
“Throughout the process we have worked closely with both the CQC and the local authority, which includes weekly updates on performance and delivery of the action plan, and I have remained actively involved with the new on-site management team. We held a meeting for residents and families on 24 January 2018 to inform everyone about the CQC report and the actions we were taking. We have another meeting planned and senior officials from Cheshire East will also be in attendance. We continue to work positively and cooperatively with both the CQC and Cheshire East to help ensure that we provide safe and dignified care to all our residents.”