A Wirral care home had been so “neglected” people living there were “at risk of abuse” according to a damning report by health inspectors.
When the Care Quality Commission (CQC) officials inspected Sandrock Nursing Home in Wallasey earlier this year, they found a litany of issues including “overpowering” smelly carpets that “were not fit for purpose,” unclean furniture, a disintegrating door, stains, and damp patches.
The care home has already been in special measures for more than two years.
Inspectors wrote in a new report how they also found “the provider did not operate robust procedures and processes that made sure people were protected from the risk of abuse.”
The care home also “failed to appropriately assess, monitor and manage risks to people’s health and safety by neglecting the environment placing people at risk of harm.”
The care home was praised in three areas for being effective, caring and responsive but was still rated inadequate by the CQC due to “serious concerns with the safety and condition of both the inside and outside of the premises.”
Its provider Prasur Investments Limited was also criticised for its “lack of understanding.”
The care home is one of several that Wirral Council has suspended services to due to quality of care concerns. This suspension has been in effect since July 2021 after it was first rated inadequate.
During previous inspections, serious concerns were identified at the care home which provides accommodation of up to 28 people. The CQC said lessons had been learned from previous inspections and 15 people were in the home at the time of the latest inspection.
In the garden, the inspection found blocked drains and gutters, wooden pallets, garden materials, and gas canisters, with two bedroom windows blocked.
The report also found “pigeons nesting directly impacting top floor unoccupied bedrooms” as well as stains and damp patches identified on the premises. One fire safety concern related to a kitchen hatch was still to be addressed.
Prasur Investments also “demonstrated a lack of understanding about their roles and responsibilities for ensuring the delivery of high-quality care” and “showed a lack of understanding in relation to the management of risk and regulatory requirements.”
The CQC also found Prasur lacked “robust oversight” and only made improvements when this was identified during inspections. Prasur was found to be “not proactive in making positive changes” and “failed to take responsibility for assessing, monitoring and improving the quality of the service.”
Though a new range of audits had been provided and an improvement plan, the improvements were only following the inspection and audits did not identify the issues to do with the inside and outside of the care home.
However, staff were trained in understanding the correct procedures around abuse and were “knowledgeable about people’s health needs and the provider worked in partnership with other health professionals as a measure of providing the appropriate level of support.”
Medicines management had improved and care records were personalised with risks assessed and identified. Staff had received safeguarding training and knew what action needed to be taken. Accidents, incidents, and safeguarding concerns were also recorded and there was enough staff to meet people’s needs.
While medicines were mostly managed safely, recording of what was in stock “was not always robust” and not all medicines were stored safely.
The inspection also found people felt comfortable during meal times and people told the CQC “staff were caring, friendly and always took time to speak with them and ask how they were” and “staff had formed positive and caring relationships with people and knew them well.
The CQC also “observed staff engage people with singing that was meaningful and created a joyful atmosphere in the home” and relatives were involved in the running of the service.
Sandrock Nursing Home declined to comment on the report. The care home will face another reinspection in six months and the CQC will monitor progress.
The usual maximum time for a care home being in special measures is a year. Sandrock has been in special measures since it was first rated inadequate in April 2021.
According to the CQC, “If the provider has not made enough improvement within this timeframe 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 will mean we will begin the process of preventing the provider from operating this service. This will usually lead to cancellation of their registration or to varying the conditions of the registration.”