‘Unsafe living environment’ - Liverpool care home plunged into special measures after shocking inspection
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A culture of blame, with residents left shouting for help and at risk of abuse, was identified at Alt Park Nursing Home in Gillmoss following a visit from Care Quality Commission (CQC) officials. As a result of the damning findings in a lengthy report, the home has been deemed inadequate.
Management will now be required to form an action plan to address how they will improve standards in the next six months or face potential closure. The company operating Alt Park, We Care Group, has issued an apology to residents, family members and the community.
The CQC report said at the time of the inspection, 33 people aged 65 and over were in the home. The visit was prompted by “multiple concerns” being raised regarding the management of the home “people not being sufficiently hydrated and concerns relating to a poor culture within the service.”
The document found residents’ medicines were not managed safely and as a result, they were placed in “avoidable harm.” Trip hazards in communal areas had not been addressed to prevent falls and appropriate measures had not been taken to ensure the safety of people in the event of an emergency.
During the inspection in March, officials said residents were not observed taking medications covertly, resulting in them not being administered safely or on time, while fluid records indicated people were not sufficiently hydrated.
Further to this, officials said good infection prevention and control measures were not always followed by staff, increasing the risk of harm. The condition of the home was also heavily criticised, with damaged bathrooms and chipped paintwork spotted.
The state of the home meant effective cleaning was not always possible and deemed not appropriate to prevent the spread of infection. Staff were also observed not disposing of personal protective equipment safely.
The report added how people were in an “unsafe living environment” with most people’s bedrooms containing damaged furniture, walls and flooring that had not been repaired or adequately cleaned. Communal bathrooms did not always have handles to close the door, and most had no lock.
One person was reported to have asked ‘how am I supposed to go to the toilet?’
There were repeated incidents of people entering other’s bedrooms and hitting out at them. The report said: “These incidents had not been appropriately reviewed and no actions had been taken to review plans or people’s needs to ensure the risk to others was reduced.”
CQC inspectors said in their report the service was not well-led and the manager and provider failed to carry out their regulatory responsibilities. It said: “During the inspection the senior management team and nominated individual ensured immediate actions were taken to mitigate the failures highlighted in this report.
“However, we are not yet assured these actions were effective or embedded to ensure the quality and safety of the service was consistently monitored and improved to keep people safe.”
On the day of the inspection there was one nurse on duty who was responsible for medicines and clinical oversight of 32 people. Inspectors said a culture of blame had developed at Alt Park with staff reporting poor morale and a lack of understanding of expectations.
Staff described working at Alt Park Nursing Home as “chaos” and “confusing at times.” The CQC said they will work alongside We Care Group and Liverpool Council to monitor progress.
What happens next: A re-inspection will take place within six months and if significant changes have not been made, the CQC could move to shut down the service.
Bernie Suresparan, chief executive officer, at We Care Group said: “The We Care Group is extremely saddened and disappointed with the findings within the report, which we take very seriously. We apologise to residents, family members and the local community that we serve, that the standards in the home have fallen below those expected within the We Care Group.
“We would like to reassure everyone that since the inspection we have put together an action plan to make the necessary improvements identified, made systems more robust and have appointed a new manager. We have already made some significant progress on rectifying many of the concerns identified and are confident that the home will soon be back to the good standard we expect within our homes.”