Exhausted staff at ‘dirty’ care home

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A Lancaster care home has been described as “dirty” with “exhausted and burnt out” staff, following a recent inspection.

Scaleford Care Home, in Lune Road, was judged inadequate after it was visited by Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors earlier this year.

The CQC carried out an unnanounced inspection at the home, run by Scaleford Care Home Ltd, on January 29 and February 2.

A report published this week said the home had not completed an action plan of improvements following another inspection in September 14 which also found failings in provision.

But inspectors found that seven of the nine people they spoke to were “happy with the service being provided and had no complaints”.

Feedback from relatives in relation to care provision was also positive, and family members said their relatives were happy living at the home and that they were well cared for.

However, the report said this did not reflect the findings of the CQC, who judged the home not to be safe, well led, or effective.

It also required inprovement in its provision of care and responsiveness.

The report concluded that staff were stressed and under pressure to work long hours, and didn’t have time to sit with people and communicate, although staff were found to be kind, patient, and compassionate and were caring towards people.

People were expected to sit in one lounge for the majority of the day, under constant supervision from one member of staff.

Infection control and standards of hygiene within the home were found to be poor, with no domestic staff in post and the home was dirty.

Carpets needed cleaning and replacing, communal bathrooms and bedrooms were dirty, and there was a strong smell of urine from some bedrooms, inspectors found. “Staffing levels or deployment evidenced that staff were stretched and focused on completing tasks rather than spending time with people,” the report said.

“This meant that people who lived at the home were left for long periods of time without any stimulation.

“The registered provider did not have appropriate systems in place to manage medications.

“Medicines were not administered, stored and recorded for, in accordance with good practice guidelines.

“Staff also said that staffing levels impacted upon their own safety as they were not always appropriately supported in challenging situations.”

Although staff stated that they were burnt out and exhausted, they displayed commitment and passion to their role and spoke highly of the people they were supporting, the report added.

Scaleford Care Home Ltd has been told to make a number of improvements.

Lynette Owens, the home’s registered care provider, said: “I was alarmed at the report and we have been working with CQC and Lancashire County Council ever since to comply with their recommendations and improvements. We do not agree with all they have reported.

“We have surveyed our residents and their families and I have had no complaints from them.

“The entire team at Scaleford are giving their full attention to this report.”