A care home in South Tyneside has been placed in special measures by health watchdogs following a damning inspection in which it found residents were not safeguarded for the risk of abuse.
Windsor Care Home, in Hebburn, was given the unnaounced inspection over three days, two in May and on June, by staff from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The Victoria Road East site was found not to be safe, effective, responsive or well-led and was deemed “inadequate” in all of these areas.
Home bosses have responded by saying that the report’s findings are “unprecedented” and a programme of action to deal with the issues has since been formulated.
In terms of safety, the report read: “Medicines were not always managed safely for people and records had not been completed correctly.
“People did not receive their medicines at the times they needed them and in a safe way.
“The service failed to protect people who used the service from abuse or improper treatment whilst receiving care and treatment.”CQC report
“Medicines were not administered and recorded properly.
“The service failed to protect people who used the service from abuse or improper treatment whilst receiving care and treatment.
“The service did not have robust processes or procedures in place to safeguard people for the risk of abuse.
“Where abuse was discovered or suspected, the service failed to take appropriate action, without delay, to investigate and refer the incident to the appropriate body.”
The report added: “The service failed to implement robust recruitment procedures to ensure that staff were suitable for the role in which they were employed.”
Staff working at Windsor Care Home were also criticised in relation to the care aspect of the service.
“Staff did not always understand the care and treatment needs of people who used the service,” said the report.
“Observations were that staff were very busy and were not afforded the time to engage with people who used the service, to better understand their needs, wishes or preferences.
“We did see that some positive, caring relationships had developed between some members of staff and people who used the service.
“People’s privacy and dignity was not always respected and promoted.
“People were found to be isolated during the delivery of their care and treatment needs with very little social interaction.”
Bosses’ leadership was also slammed in the report: “Management had failed to implement and carry on robust quality monitoring processes to assess the quality of the care, treatment and support that the service provided.”
Staff spoken to by inspectors also mentioned a “massive blame culture” at the home, with one worker saying “there is a lot of finger pointing”.
As a result of being in special measures, the service will be kept under review and, if the CQC has not taken immediate action to propose to cancel the provider’s registration of the service, it will be inspected again within six months.
A spokesman for the home said in a statement: “The providers are GPs of good standing for over 40 years and the nursing care service, as well elderly care which they have delivered since 1989 has always been graded as excellent or good up to May 2016.
“The shortcomings highlighted by the recent inspections are therefore unprecedented and the providers have taken prompt action to formulate a programme of action, in order to address the issues raised and to ensure compliance in all areas.
“Changes including management structure have taken place and the providers are working with the support of the local commissioning team.
“As a result significant improvements have been and continue to be made.
“Meetings have also been held with all staff and resident families in order to make them aware of the findings and of the action, which is being taken in all areas of concern.”