Deep clean ordered at 'inadequate' Chorley care home where inspectors found a raft of problems

An "unhygenic" Chorley care home that put residents at risk of scalding and where staff were not following Covid testing guidance has been slammed in a Care Quality Commission inspection.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 9:28 am

The Gables Care Home in Southport Road, Chorley, provides personal care and acommodation for up to 21 people.

This service has been in Special Measures since April 14, and was recently reinspected to see whether any improvements had been made. However, inspectors found it was still inadequate overall after a range of breaches were found.

A report issued this month, states the home is not safe, not always caring and not well-led.

The Gables in Southport Road, Chorley

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Key findings include:

● The provider failed to ensure equipment was properly maintained. Commode pans were extensively stained, and one pan did not have a lid between the pan and the chair seat. Shower and bath seats were also stained and required cleaning, "fluid stains" were found on paintwork, and suspected mould was found in some bedrooms and the dining room. Inspectors made a referral to the Infection Prevention Team who visietd and recommended the home have a deep clean "as a matter of priority".

● Fire exits alarms were not set, potentially allowing some people to leave the home unnoticed.

● People had access to windows large enough to fall through.

● The provider failed to ensure all care plans had information to guide staff on how to manage people's health conditions.

● Medicine records were not always fully completed and medicines were not always stored safely. In a shared bedroom prescribed creams were left on the top of a set of drawers, accessible to whoever entered the room.

● The provider failed to ensure that everyone had an up to date personal emergency evacuation plan that reflected their support needs.

● The stairs leading from the fire exits were corroded in some parts and covered in green moss like growths in parts that could cause the steps to become slippery.

● Water temperatures were not controlled within the home and no risk assessments were in place to determine whether people would be at risk of scalding.

● People's dignity and privacy was not consistently upheld. People's personal information was discussed in front of other people and confidential information was accessible to people in the communal lounge and in a shared bedroom.

● There was not enough staff to meet the identified needs of people.

Inspectors said: "People told us they felt safe, however the provider failed to demonstrate that risks were consistently monitored, and they had oversight of people's safety.

"People lived in a home that did not look visibly clean. Equipment used to support people with their personal care did not look well maintained and hygienic. Record keeping related to the administration of some medicines was not in place or not consistently completed.

"Oversight of people did not reflect the care needs identified in people's care plans. The provider failed to deploy sufficient staff while waiting to employ new housekeeping staff."

Preventing and controlling infection

Inspectors were also not satisfied that the provider always followed current guidance on the testing of staff for COVID-19.

The report states: "We were not assured the provider was using PPE effectively and safely. We observed discarded PPE in a bin in the dining room. The bin did not have a lid so did not restrict any potential spread of bacteria. We observed one staff member carry used PPE through the dining room to a clinical bin outside".

Inspectors were also not assured the provider was meeting shielding and social distancing rules. They observed people and staff sat together in close proximity when outside smoking amd staff sitting together in close proximity when smoking or when on meal breaks.

They also saw staff travelling to and from the home in their uniforms and although they were assured the provider was accessing testing for people using the service and staff, "however, the provider was not following current guidance on the frequency of staff testing."

Positives

Some good points were noted by inspectors, including how people spoke postively about the relationships they had formed with staff.

Observations showed people were happy and relaxed in the company of staff and that the management team had been working with a range of professionals following April's inspection in order to meet people's needs.

One person interviewed said: "Staff are very good. They are very willing to do anything they can."

A second person said: "You can have a laugh with the staff, it makes a difference", and a member of staff told inspectors: " The people here are like family to me."

Inspectors also noted that the home had been awarded a five-star food hygiene rating. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) had graded the home as 'very good' in relation to meeting food safety standards about cleanliness, food preparation and associated recordkeeping.

What is being done to improve?

The report states: "The provider responded immediately during and after the inspection. They confirmed water temperatures had been regulated and tamper proof restrictors had been purchased. Additional cleaning of the home had taken place. New bins and commodes had been purchased to safeguard people. All fire doors were being reviewed to ensure compliance with current guidance."

The Post has contacted the home for further comment.