Residents at Towcester care home 'not protected from risks of abuse from staff'

The Lakes is in Duncote Hall near Towcester
The Lakes is in Duncote Hall near Towcester

A Towcester care home put its residents in danger of losing weight, becoming dehydrated and failed to protect them "from risks of abuse from staff", a damning CQC report has revealed.

The CQC brought forward a planned inspection of The Lakes in Duncote, near Towcester, because it received information of concern from families, staff and the local authority.

Inspectors judged The Lakes was 'inadequate' in the safe, responsive and well-led categories, 'requires improvement' in the caring and effective categories; overall it received an 'inadequate' rating.

"People were not protected from the risks of abuse as staff and the registered manager had failed to recognise or report allegations of abuse, unexplained injuries and poor moving and handling; they had not alerted the relevant authorities," the report reads.

"Staff did not consistently ensure people were supported to eat their meals. People were at risk of losing weight and dehydration.

"The provider failed to ensure agency staff had a suitable induction to the service, employment checks, training and competencies required to carry out their roles.

"Both agency and permanent staff had not always received the training and supervision they required to provide care that met people’s needs.

"People’s dignity was not always maintained as their personal care was not always carried out in a timely way."

The CQC also reported a lack of staff meant peoples' needs weren't being met.

Agency staff were not given a suitable induction by the care provider, who also failed to perform employment checks, training and competencies required to work at The Lakes.

In total, the CQC found The Lakes to be in breach of 10 regulations of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

Tracey Brown, a former activity coordinator at The Lakes who says she quit because of the treatment of the residents, claimed to have raised the issues mentioned in the report - but they were not acted upon.

A spokesperson for The Lakes said: "The CQC's report has highlighted a number of issues that are absolutely unacceptable. Our priority is the wellbeing of our residents and giving them the best care possible. This clearly hasn't happened recently.

"We are currently working closely with the council's improvement team and are addressing all of the issues as a matter of urgency."

According to the CQC not all areas of the care home, which was purpose-built to meet the needs of people living with dementia, "were adequately used for the purpose they were intended".

The report can be found on the CQC's website.