27th Jun, 2022

'String of issues' uncovered at care home

Laura Kearns 19th Aug, 2017

A ‘STRING of issues’ at a Kineton care home included a resident being left in their own mess and then being moaned at by staff, despite calling for help.

Inspectors for care advocates Healthwatch Warwickshire found a number of problems at River Meadows care home on Warwick Road when they visited in May 2016.

These include staff moaning at a resident, lack of stimulation and engagement between staff and residents, and staff smoking close to the dining room and under residents’ rooms.

Strong smells of urine, inaccessible emergency pull cords and a cleaning trolley left unattended in a dark corridor during a power cut – creating a trip hazard and allowing residents easy access to cleaning materials including potentially dangerous chemicals – were also recorded

Four inspectors visited the home, which caters for 41 people with old age or dementia.

In one incident a resident called for assistance to go to the toilet. When Healthwatch staff attempted to find a carer to help the resident, and pressed an assist button to raise the alarm, they could find no one on the floor.

The resident soiled themselves and was later moaned at by a member of staff who said they should have called for help.

Inspectors say by the time they returned for a second check some months later, the home had a new manager and improvements were underway.

The report said the smell of urine had gone and there was a pull cord in the communal toilet.

The tables and flooring area in the dining room were clean, but dead spiders, cobwebs and dust were spotted around the skirting boards, window sills and behind the curtains.

Chief executive of Healthwatch Warwickshire, Chris Bain said: “The report on River Meadow does make for tough reading. We identified a number of problems on the first visit which were of great concern to us and which warranted a second visit.

“During that second visit some of these problems had been addressed and were still being addressed although the new manager had only been in post for five weeks by that stage.

“However we were reassured that our concerns were being taken seriously and tackled.”

And provider Prime Life, which runs the home, says improvements have been made since the last report.

Company managing director James Wood told the Observer: “We are incredibly disappointed Healthwatch have commented on a report which is some 14 months old.

“We acknowledged under the old manager there were some issues but now we have appointed a new manager and could not be more proud of them and our staff. We offer a first class service.

“We have a full bill of health from Warwickshire County Council and our CQC report is rated as good.

“Anyone is welcome to come and see the service we offer.”

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