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CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION: Care home ‘a significant risk’ to residents

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION: Care home ‘a significant risk’ to residents

Image: LDRS

A care home in Wolverhampton where a resident was seriously injured in a “specific incident” is now the subject of a criminal investigation, health and social care bosses have revealed.

Following the matter at Abbey Lodge Care Home in Tettenhall, inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) decided to visit its premises in Cranmere Avenue.

A detailed report of their findings – which labelled the residential facility ‘inadequate’ – found that the home placed people “at significant risk of harm”.

No details of the incident being investigated have been released. However, the two inspectors who visited witnessed a catalogue of breaches in practice taking place.

A CQC report, released this week, said: “We spoke with five people who were using the service, two carers briefly, the deputy manager, the provider and the area manager. Calls were made after the inspection to four staff members.

“One person told us: ‘I watch how much I drink because I don’t know how long I have to wait for the toilet. I press the buzzer and they don’t come’. (And) one staff member said: ‘I have had no safeguarding training’.

“People waited a long time for their meals. We observed people being seated at the dining table for their lunch and they were still sat there over an hour later as staff were busy.

“The provider (Abbey Lodge Care Limited) had failed to ensure people were protected against the risks of cross infection in regard to Covid-19 (and) failed to ensure adequate infection control practices.

“People who had recently moved into the service were not socially isolated from other people to prevent the potential spread of Covid-19. People were sharing mobility aids without cleaning in between uses. High traffic areas within the home were not subject to any additional cleaning.”

Abbey Lodge can provide personal care for up to 26 people and was supporting 21 residents at the time of the inspection.

The report added: “Medicines were not stored safely. One person had their medicines left out in their room. The service accommodates people who had a dementia diagnosis or had confusion, which put them at risk of taking medicines not prescribed for them as they were not securely stored.

“We found that staff removed controlled drugs from the cupboard and placed them in the medicine trolley during the medicine round without being signed for.

“We also observed a controlled medicine was kept in the medicines trolley as opposed to the controlled drugs cupboard. This increased the risk of controlled drugs stock errors occurring.

“Some areas of the home had fallen into disrepair. This meant service users and staff had been placed at increased risk as extra precautions advised by the government had not been followed in relation to Covid-19.”

Following the inspection, the CQC enforced several notices of proposals detailing the actions and improvements needed to bring the facility out of ‘special measures’.

If this is not met the provider could be prevented from operating the care home.

A spokesman at Abbey Lodge said he did not wish to comment on the report.

The full report can be viewed here: https://bit.ly/3pGtZxq

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

Words: Joe Sweeney, Local Democracy Reporter


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