AN independent care home for the elderly in Cold Ash has been slammed by the Care Quality Commission after an inspection described squalid and potentially dangerous conditions.
The Holly Grange Residential Home, which has 19 beds and typically houses 16 residents, was found to be ‘inadequate’ by the country’s health services watchdog, following three visits in March.
Inspectors found that the facilities represented a safety risk for residents and the centre has now been placed under special measures, with orders to improve within six months.
The report read: “The service did not always provide safe care and treatment.
“A number of health and safety and fire safety risks had either not been identified, or had been identified but not addressed.
“There was no evidence of follow-up with regard to injuries noted on body charts, in order to identify the cause and any necessary actions to reduce the risk of recurrence.
“People were not always kept safe. On one occasion we found the front door open and unsecured, meaning that people could have left the service unobserved, or unauthorised people could have gained access to the building.”
The report added: “People were not always treated with respect and dignity, their views had not always been sought and their wishes were not always respected.
“At times, staff failed to knock on people’s bedroom doors before entering. The language used within the records of people’s care was not always respectful.”
Inspectors also said that people were at risk of infection, that there was no equipment to sterilise commode pots and no legionella testing of the water supply had been carried out.
Residents had also been put at risk because of insufficient staffing levels with employees working “potentially unsafe hours”.
Inspectors noted: “Staff rotas were either inaccurate or were not available to establish who was scheduled to be on duty.
“Staff were not properly inducted, supported or trained to ensure they had the necessary skills to meet people’s needs.
There was also heavy criticism for the practice manager Sundith Ramdany, and inspectors said: “The service was not well led.
“Overall, we found the management of the service to be largely reactive rather than proactive.
“This meant that people were not fully protected and the service was not adhering to the most up-to-date and effective care practices.
“The registered manager failed to notify the Care Quality Commission, as required, of a person having left the service unnoticed and having been returned by the police.”
In response to the damning report, owner and practice manager Sundith Ramdany acknowledged that recruitment had been difficult and said that the practice was making improvements.
He said that he was confident the practice would move out of special measures within the next six months and added: “We have started the ball rolling.
“We are more or less halfway through making the changes to get out of special measures.
“We are making progress but it’s not going to happen overnight.”