A GOMERSAL care home has been placed in special measures after an inspection highlighted concerns over safety and lack of care for its residents.
Holme House Care Home, on Oxford Road, was rated as ‘inadequate’ overall after the Care Quality Commission had previously rated it as ‘requires improvement’ in October 2015.
When inspectors visited on February 8 and 13 this year, there were 52 people living at the home, which is registered to provide both residential and nursing care, including for people living with dementia.
The CQC were worried that there had been no action taken since the home was last inspected, and further concerns were raised.
Debbie Westhead, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector for adult social care, said: “People are entitled to services which provide safe, effective, responsive and high quality care. We found that the care provided at Holme House Care Home fell a long way short of what we expect services to provide.
“We inspected this home in October 2015 and told them where they needed to improve. It is disappointing that there has been a lack of action taken since the previous inspection, and also worrying that we found fresh concerns.
“We were worried about the basic safety of people living at this service.
“There were no fire extinguishers available on some parts of the service, cleaning materials were stored in an unlocked cupboard and there were not enough suitably qualified staff on duty putting people at risk.
“People were not always supported to live in a way which maintained their dignity. We saw people using their fingers to eat food such as scrambled egg and baked beans, which is unacceptable. Whilst eating with their fingers may be better for some people, we would expect them to be provided with appropriate finger food.
“We are working with partners including Kirklees Council to ensure the safety of people using this service.”
Amongst other issues, inspectors found that there were not enough staff to meet people’s needs in time, and a lot of the time people were left unsupervised.
Responding to the findings, James Creegan, director of care at Croft Carehomes Ltd, said: “It is with deep sadness that on the day of the visit form the CQC the quality of care at our home fell well below the standard we have set ourselves and for this there is no excuse.
“The home had undergone significant change to its management structure and with the recruitment of registered nurses being incredible difficult within the whole of the care sector, as well as the NHS, it had been difficult to attract quality nurses, resulting in an over-reliance on agency staff.
“This put significant pressure on the existing staff team which led to an inconsistent and poorly-led service.
“The inspection took place in February 2017 and since then the senior management of the company have been working hard alongside the care home’s newly-appointed management team to put things right.
“Residents and their relatives have been very complimentary about the changes the home has made and we have assured them that we are working hard to put things back on track after what has been a difficult period for the home.”
The home will be kept under review and inspected again in six months.