'Inadequate' Mansfield care home put elderly residents at risk of harm and abuse
Elderly residents of a care home in Mansfield were put at serious risk of harm, abuse and Covid-19 infections by the failings of staff and management.
That’s the scathing verdict in a damning report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) watchdog after an inspection of Parkside Nursing Home in Forest Town.
The Olive Grove home, which provides nursing and personal care for up to 50 people, some of whom have dementia, was branded ‘Inadequate’ by CQC inspectors and placed in ‘Special Measures’.
In four of five individual categories, Parkside was also given the ‘Inadequate’ rating. It was not safe, not effective, not caring and not well-led.
Now, the home will be kept under review, and the CQC has warned that if improvements are not made within six months, it could be shut down.
The home has since apologised, blaming “staff issues”, and has promised improvements. See here.
Parkside is operated by the Monarch Healthcare Group, which is based in Nottingham and runs 13 homes across Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Yorkshire.
Only as recently as May, the home received a rating of ‘Good’. But the CQC stepped in again after receiving concerns and complaints from interested parties.
Inspectors made an unannounced visit in August, spoke to staff, residents and relatives, and found that the home had deteriorated alarmingly.
In short, they uncovered “widespread and significant shortfalls” in the care and treatment of Parkside residents, and in the home’s leadership.
"People were not protected from the risk of harm or abuse,” the inspectors’ report read. “They were not always supported by competent staff.
"Medicines were not managed safely, and people did not always receive their prescribed medicines on time.
"People did not always have their needs fully assessed, leaving them at risk of receiving unsafe care.”
The report added that residents were “not provided with consistently kind and caring support”, while staff “did not always support people in a dignified way and did not communicate respectfully.”
Furthermore, the leadership and management at the home “did not provide an assurance that residents lived, and were cared for, in a safe environment”.
Inspectors revealed that they saw one resident “physically restrained by staff against his will” when he wanted, and was able, to go for a walk.
Other residents complained about staff being “rough” and about being left without their ‘call bell’ so they couldn’t ring for help when needed.
Inspectors also reported how the home ran out of medicines for residents with diabetes, blood pressure and pain relief.
And how other medicines were administered in an unsafe way, or without the residents’ consent.
"People were also put at risk due to poor infection prevention and control practices,” the report went on.
"Best-practice guidance was not consistently followed to help reduce the risk of Covid-19. For example, we observed a number of staff not wearing PPE, and others supporting people without sanitising or washing their hands.”
The CQC found too that “not all areas of the home were clean”. Kitchenettes were “visibly dirty”, and there was rust in microwaves.
Many bedrooms were “bare and not decorated to an individual’s taste or needs”.
Food was also not stored safely or correctly, posing a risk of out-of-date items being given to residents to eat. And at one meal time, food was just left in front of a resident for more than an hour while they slept.
Inspectors reported another example of how residents were “not always treated with dignity and respect”. A person was left lying on the floor for one hour and 35 minutes “with no staff enquiring about their wellbeing” and some just walking past.
"We also observed people wearing clothes that were too small for them, “ the report continued. “Relatives said they often saw their loved ones wearing clothes that did not belong to them.
"There was a lack of interaction and engagement by staff. People were spoken at, rather than to, and relatives told us they did not feel included in their loves ones’ care.”
The inspectors noted that “there was a large number of temporary agency-staff working at the home”. But it wasn’t clear whether or not they had tested positive for Covid-19, and Monarch “did not ensure they were suitably trained to meet people’s needs safely”.
Monarch also failed to “effectively monitor and learn from accidents and incidents, placing people at risk of harm”.
The needs of residents were not always properly assessed, and care plans not updated. Some staff divulged that they did not even know how to access care plans and “felt they could not approach management” to raise concerns.
One member of staff told the inspectors: “In the past, I have been ignored and told to just get on with things.”
Another said: “I have been told to keep my mouth shut. I am concerned about the wellbeing of people, but the management don’t listen.”
At the time of the inspection, the care home had an acting manager in place after the previous manager had left to pursue a new career. But the CQC said she was not always aware of her legal obligations.
The report said: “Lack of managerial oversight meant care records were not consistent. They did not provide staff with accurate information to support people safely.
"The risk was heightened by the large number of agency staff who had never met many of the people they were caring for.”
In summary, the CQC inspectors said: “If the provider (Monarch) has not made enough improvement within six months, and there is still a rating of ‘Inadequate’ for any key question or overall rating, we will take action in line with our enforcement procedures.
"This means we will begin the process of preventing the provider from operating this service.”