Covid-positive Wolverhampton care worker 'told to stay at work'

A worker at a Wolverhampton care home was told to stay at work after testing positive for Covid-19, health inspectors found during a recent visit.

The Leylands Residential Care Home in Penn Road, Wolverhampton. Photo: Google Street View
The Leylands Residential Care Home in Penn Road, Wolverhampton. Photo: Google Street View

The incident happened at the Leylands Residential Care Home in Penn, and was discovered by officers from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after fears were raised about the quality of service at the premises.

Another staff member was encouraged by the management team to return to work after being in contact with a person who had tested positive for Covid-19, the check-up also found.

However, care home owner Bal Bisla has hit back at the CQC findings and called the report “very unfair.”

“We had one very small isolated episode in late December and we controlled it. No-one went to hospital and no-one died.

“We are in the middle of a pandemic. I asked for help and got nothing from the CQC or the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group). I’ve challenged this report as I believe it’s very unfair,” he said.

“I want everyone to know we are very, very strict on Covid safeguarding and our staff follow the government guidelines to the letter. They do everything possible to ensure everyone in the home gets the best care possible.”

Mr Bisla said that since the inspection took place a new manager had been appointed.

An inspector from the CQC visited the Penn Road premises on January 26, after receiving reports of residents not being safeguarded from potential harm, abuse and neglect.

Review

A short period of prior notice was given to the home, whose provider is Angel Care Homes Limited, but following the inspection the service was found to be ‘inadequate’ and has now been placed in ‘special measures’.

This means the home will be kept under review by the CQC, which will re-inspect the premises within six months if it does not decide to cancel the provider’s registration.

The inspection report said: “People were not safeguarded from potential harm, abuse and neglect. People were not supported by staff who were effectively trained and had guidance in place to meet their needs.

“At this inspection we found 11 potential safeguarding concerns that had not been referred to the local authority safeguarding team for review.

“We reviewed 27 accidents and incident forms that had been reviewed by the management team. However, all of these reviews were incomplete and no action had been taken following these reviews to reduce the risk of incidents reoccurring.

“The provider had failed to ensure staff consistently followed government Covid-19 guidance. For example, one staff member had been told they were required to remain at work following testing positive for Covid-19.

“Another staff member was encouraged by the management team to return to work following being in contact with a person who had tested positive for Covid-19,” added the report.

“Systems were not in place or robust enough to ensure people received consistently safe care. This placed people at risk of harm.

Guidance

“Medicines were not consistently stored safely and people did not always have guidance in place where they were prescribed medicines on an ‘as required’ basis.

“People were not supported by staff who were working in line with the government’s Covid-19 guidance on isolating following a positive Covid-19 test,” it said.

“(Also) people were not supported in a consistent way during periods of anxiety or distress. People were not supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and the systems in the service supported this practice.”

The inspector spoke with three people who used the service and three relatives about their experience of the care provided, noted the report.

“We spoke with eight members of staff including the provider, director, senior care workers and care workers. We reviewed a range of records. This included seven people’s care records and multiple medication records.

“We looked at variety of records relating to the management of the service, including policies and procedures.”

At the time of the inspection, the service did not have a manager registered with the CQC, which means that the provider was legally responsible for how it is run and for the quality and safety of the care provided.

“The provider had failed to ensure there was a registered manager at the service since January 2020. Whilst there had been a manager in place, they had not registered with us and the provider had not had sufficient oversight at the service,” said the report.

The Leylands provides personal and nursing care for up to 21 people. At the time of the inspection there were 17 residents at the home. The service has been rated as ‘requires improvement’ for the last two consecutive inspections.

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