Older people at risk at 'unsafe' Wolverhampton care home

Elderly people living in an ‘unsafe’ care home were put at risk by staff, a health watchdog has reported.

The care home. Credit: Google
The care home. Credit: Google

Richmond Court Care Home has been placed in special measures after inspectors were left unconvinced that residents were adequately cared for.

The surprise inspection came after a whistleblower raised concerns with Wolverhampton council about the Compton-based home, the Care Quality Commission said.

In their report CQC inspectors said: “Staff did not always have the skills and knowledge to provide people with safe, consistent care. People continued to be placed at risk because information about serious incidents or risks to people’s health, safety and wellbeing had not been addressed by the registered manager.”

Inspectors visited the Richmond Road home in July, branding it ‘inadequate’ after discovering staff had breached health and safety requirements.

There was a ‘strong smell of urine in some parts of the home’, staff did not always act ‘respectful or dignifying’, and people with mobility issues were put at risk of injury when moved by workers, the report continued.

Staff put one resident with swallowing difficulties - who coughed and spluttered while sipping - at risk of chest infection and choking after failing to follow medical advice to administer thicker drinks, inspectors found, it said.

Another resident lost weight over three months but was only referred to their doctor’s surgery when the problem persisted in the fourth month, the CQC continued.

Inspectors, who judged the care home to be ‘good’ last year, said: “We observed one staff member entered the lounge and pointed at three people saying loudly to their colleague, ‘these three are for toileting’. This demonstrated people’s dignity was not always respected.”

There was limited dementia-friendly signage in the home and residents had their rights ‘restricted unlawfully’, as staff failed to get consent for care and support.

But residents and families knew how to raise concerns and there was a system in place to manage complaints, they disclosed.

The report added: “We found there was a feeling of resignation from some of the people we spoke with, who told us staff made decisions on their behalf and they just had to accept them.There was a culture of institutionalised care, which meant people’s choices, interests and decisions were not always respected.“This led to people feeling disengaged, despondent and unable to make their own choices.”

The home, which supports up to 30 older people, will now be kept under review and will face a further inspection within the next six months but could be shut down if improvements are not made. Care home manager Carolyn O’Brien refused to comment.

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