AN old people’s care home in Northumberland has been reprimanded and ordered to improve after regulators uncovered a catalogue of failures.
Residents at Sunningdale Lodge in Hexham – some with mental health problems – were left without adequate hygiene and nutrition, the Care Quality Commission says.
Moving and handling of the 50 patients to ensure their safety and welfare were not properly carried out by staff.
Care plans for individual residents were not applied as required to fully meet their needs.
And investigators also found that only 10 immersion baths or showers had been provided for 21 of the residents in the first three weeks of October.
One patient at risk of pressure sores was left sitting for long periods without getting help to change position, and others were not given assistance to eat and drink, with no action being taken where malnutrition was suspected.
In addition, staff had not been given clear guidance on how to assist patients to eat and drink, according to the inspectors.
The shortfalls were exposed after an unannounced inspection visit by Care Quality Commission watchdog inspectors in October.
Yesterday Cheshire-based owners Four Seasons Health Care admitted their “deep regret” and pledged that standards were being raised.
A company spokesman said a “new and experienced” home manager and four new care staff had been drafted in, and it was now believed the home was meeting proper standards.
Four Seasons took over the running of Sunningdale Lodge – and nearby Sunningdale House – from failed care home group Southern Cross in November 2011.
The Care Quality Commission, which is carrying out a wide-ranging sweep of UK care homes, issued a formal warning to Four Seasons, warning that they must make “urgent improvements” to standards of care or face further action.
In its statement issued yesterday, Four Seasons said: “We deeply regret that in this instance some aspects of the quality of care provided by Sunningdale Lodge Care Home fell very far short of the standards we expect to deliver.
“We have been working to turn around performance of the home since we took it over from the failed Southern Cross and this is taking time. We have implemented a comprehensive improvement plan to address all of the requirements by the CQC in conjunction with the Local Authority Safeguarding team and we believe the home is now fully compliant. However, we have been waiting for an inspection to confirm this.
“We have made changes to the management of the home and we are recruiting additional staff. We have introduced refresher training for staff to ensure that procedures are correctly followed. Our priority is to ensure the well- being and comfort of our residents.”
Sunningdale Lodge, on Dene Road in east Hexham, was one of four Tynedale care homes taken over from Southern Cross by new operators in 2011.
CQC North area director Malcolm Bower-Brown said: “The law sets out national standards that everyone who uses services should be able to expect. Providers have a duty to ensure they meet these standards.
“This warning sends a clear and public message that Four Seasons (Bamford) Limited need to address these issues as a matter of urgency or face serious consequences.
“Our inspectors will return to the home in the near future and if we find that the provider is not making the required progress we won’t hesitate to use our legal powers to ensure residents are receiving the service they are entitled to expect.”