'People weren’t safe!' Inspectors reveal why Shropshire care home was placed in special measures

"People weren’t safe as the environment wasn’t well maintained."

Keegan's Court Residential Care Home. Photo: Google
Keegan's Court Residential Care Home. Photo: Google

That's what the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said as they released further details on a Bishop's Castle care home recently placed in special measures.

An unannounced focused inspection was carried out at the care home after the CQC received concerns about the management of the home.

As revealed by the Shropshire Star earlier this week, following the inspection in July, the care home's overall rating which was already 'requires improvement', was dropped to 'inadequate', and the home placed into special measures until it can be re-inspected to check if sufficient improvements have been made.

Now, further details have emerged in a CQC statement showing that inspectors identified breaches in relation to keeping people safe, protecting people from abuse, failing to maintain people’s dignity, as well as ineffective systems and processes.

Keegan’s Court Residential Care Home in Bishop's Castle, Shropshire provides support with personal care for up to 19 older people, some living with dementia. There were 15 people using the service at the time of this inspection. Accommodation is provided in an adapted building providing 15 beds in the main building and two bungalows, each providing two beds.

Amanda Lyndon, CQC head of inspection for adult social care, said: “When we visited Keegan’s Court Residential Care Home, we found a home that wasn’t well-led. Leaders and the culture they created didn’t provide high-quality care to people using the service.

“People weren’t safe as the environment wasn’t well maintained, and systems and processes weren’t effectively followed. There were fire exits blocked by furniture, and the cellar was heavily cluttered with combustible material. These issues put people at serious risk of harm in an emergency.

“The unlocked laundry area contained hazardous substances including chemicals identified as being corrosive. People were independently mobile within the home and had unrestricted access to the laundry area, putting them at risk of harm.

“Not all heavy wardrobes, or large pieces of equipment, were safely secured putting people at the risk of being crushed. Window restrictors weren’t in place on all windows or appropriately secured putting people at risk of falling out. Additionally, the pond area wasn’t safe for people to access. This area contained tripping hazards and an unsuitable cover over the water. This put people at the risk of drowning.

“People weren’t always treated with dignity and respect. Someone hadn’t been provided with toilet paper in their room. They had to use the torn pages of a magazine to clean themselves. Human waste was then left in the room for a period of at least 90 minutes which is totally unacceptable.

“We witnessed someone with capacity to make decisions for themselves, attempt to stand from their chair. A staff member instructed them, "You are not going anywhere." This was then repeated to them until inspectors made their presence known. The staff member then assisted the person. This interaction demonstrated a complete lack of respect and was completely undignified.

“Due to the number of serious issues found in this care home, it has been placed in special measures and we will return to check that urgent improvements have been made and embedded to reassure us that people are receiving the safe care they deserve. If we find this is not the case, we will not hesitate to further use our enforcement powers.”

The care home was contacted for a comment, and Alma Varona, the office manager said: "We are going to appeal the rating by CQC, and we are in the process of formulating representation.

"We have an action plan for the care home and already started the action plan whilst the inspector visited."

CQC have said that the care home is welcome to appeal any rating.

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