Row erupts over Croxteth care home entering special measures again

A row has erupted between a care provider and health inspectors after a Croxteth home was placed into special measures for a second time.

After deeming the level of care to be inadequate at Stonedale Lodge, officials from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have deemed the home should be in special measures again to protect service users. However, officials from Advinia, which operates the home, said they disputed elements of the inspection carried out last December, claiming the report contained “misrepresentations” of care offered at the Croxteth home.

The provider is now seeking legal means to challenge the findings.

Stonedale Lodge was initially placed in special measures in August 2022 when a resident barricaded themselves in their room for fear of their own safety. A follow up inspection in June 2023 deemed enough progress had been made to take the home out of additional assessments.

However, on the return of care officials before Christmas, fresh issues have emerged at the home, particularly around safety of the older people living at the Croxteth site. In its new report, the CQC said matters arose around management of blood pressure.

It said, “One person, who was at risk of high blood pressure, had not routinely had their blood pressure taken regularly. On occasions when it was taken saw time when it was recorded as being high but no further action was taken. 

“This was despite the person’s risk assessment identifying they were at risk of having a stroke.” This was disputed by Advinia officials who said they would seek to challenge it. 

The report added how another person had experienced a choking incident which had not been recorded on their choking risk assessment. It said: “It was not always possible to tell from this person’s food diary what texture of food they were being given, as there was no consistent recording of this.”

Other residents were said to be found with dirty fingernails and unbrushed teeth, sleeping in beds with stained pillowcases, indicating they hadn’t been washed frequently. The service will now be kept under close review to make sure people are safe and, if CQC do not propose to cancel their registration, there will be a re-inspection to check for significant improvements.

Karen Knapton, CQC deputy director of operations in the north, said, “When we inspected Stonedale Lodge, we found several areas of concern that leaders need to address to ensure people receive safe and effective care. It was concerning that people’s individual health needs weren’t consistently being managed appropriately which placed them at risk of harm.

“We saw one person at risk of a stroke, needed their blood pressure taken regularly. This wasn’t happening routinely and when it was identified as being high, no action was taken to seek healthcare advice. 

“Another person who was assessed as requiring a high fibre diet to help support their medical condition wasn’t always getting this which put them at risk of developing further complications such as constipation. This is a place people call home and people being kept clean and hygienic is a basic care need people should be able to expect as an absolute minimum.”

Ms Knapton said positive efforts had been made to implement structure at the home but it was “too early to see any real progress.” She added: “We have told leaders where we expect to see improvements and will continue to monitor the home closely to keep people safe during this time. We will return to check on their progress and won’t hesitate to take further action if people aren’t receiving the care they have a right to expect.”

A spokesperson for Advinia said, “The safety and wellbeing of our residents is our priority, and we welcome the scrutiny which comes from the Care Quality Commission. However, we believe there are a number of misrepresentations in this latest report which do not fairly reflect the quality of the care provided at Stonedale Lodge.

“As such we are now in the process of pursuing legal means to challenge this inspection report on a number of fronts, particularly concerning blood pressure monitoring and basic housekeeping tasks. It is disappointing that Stonedale Lodge is being so heavily sanctioned by the CQC considering it is well regarded by the local community and has a good reputation with our key partners, including the local authority, who inspected the service earlier this month and did not highlight any concerns.

“We are taking steps to resolve some of the concerns raised by the inspection but remain of the view that this report, and the proposed action by the CQC, is wholly disproportionate.”


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