Shropshire Star

Shropshire care home in special measures after inspectors found risks to safety

A Shropshire care home has been put into special measures after the CQC found it to be putting residents "at risk of harm".

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The Lady Forester Residential Centre in Broseley has been put into special measures after inspectors found issues with safety and leadership

Following an inspection from the Care Quality Commission in January, the Lady Forester Residential and Day Care Centre in Broseley was put into special measures after inspectors found issues with safety and leadership.

The report stated the centre, run by the Lady Forester Hospital Trust, was putting people "at risk of harm" because the provider had failed to take action to reduce environmental risks, failed to store and manage medicine safely or followed policies for infection control.

It also stated that staff had not received regular training and the care provider had failed to comply with actions the commission had previously told it to take.

In the list of safety concerns, inspectors noted issues with a fire door, risks of burns and scalding, and risk of legionella.

The report reads: "People were not kept safe from the risks associated with fire. One person's bedroom fire door had been recorded as not closing properly on 16 occasions, but no action had been taken to make this safe.

"People were not kept safe from the risks associated with legionella. The provider had failed to complete regular flush throughs of seldom used outlets and dead-end pipes.

"The provider had failed to ensure the environment was safe for people. Portable oil filled radiators were in use and had not been risk assessed as being safe to use for each person. Hot water pipes and radiators throughout the home were not covered, which put people at risk of burns.

"Hot water temperatures were recorded as excessively high but had not been reported, which put people at risk of scalding.

"People had been put at risk of food poisoning. Two food fridges had been operating at unsafe temperatures since at least July 2022. These fridges only stored dairy products and condiments. Staff had been recording temperatures of between 10C and 14C but had failed to report these high temperatures. The safe food storage temperature of a fridge is 5C or less."

The commission also noted that medicines were not being stored at a safe temperature, and found a medicine cabinet to be open, putting medication at risk of theft, misuse or tampering.

Inspectors also found staff failing to wear face masks correctly or at all and that the centre's infection control policy did not align with current government guidance.

Despite the findings by inspectors, the feedback from residents was positive and they told the commission they felt cared for by staff.

One person told inspectors: "I'm well looked after, I get what I need." Another told them the staff were "smashing".

Inspectors also noted that staff responded to people's needs in "a kind and caring way".

The centre's chair of trustees, Tracy Taylor, said: "The Lady Forester Centre take the CQC findings very seriously and recognised immediate changes needed to be made.

"Following the CQC Inspection in January we implemented an urgent comprehensive action plan outlining the steps we needed to take to mitigate these risks.

"This included changes to the board of trustees, a new Nominated Individual and external consultancy and auditors to oversee the implementation.

"We are working closely with CQC and considerable changes have already been made.

"Our commitment to the residents at the home is our top priority. We hope to have a more positive outcome at the next CQC Inspection."

As a result of the measures, the service will be kept under review and, if the CQC does not propose to cancel the provider's registration, another inspection will take place in six months.

If the centre has failed to improve, the CQC will begin the process of preventing the provider from operating the service.