Stretched Northants care home left residents at risk of infection and kept emergency alarms out of reach

A damning watchdog report has revealed how a Northamptonshire care home was placed into special measures before it closed.

Thursday, 6th July 2017, 6:24 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 12:22 pm
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published its findings into the last inspection at Highcroft Manor.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published its findings into the last inspection at Highcroft Manor, a small residential home for 23 high needs elderly people in Yardley Gobion, in which it found there had been a 'systematic failure in all areas of assessment'.

Inspectors visited the home, which reportedly closed three months ago, during March.

But the watchdog found that the facility was not well led, was not keeping residents safe and was not responsive.

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The report stated that staff were not always deployed to communal areas - leaving people at risk of falls.

It read: "We observed several people attempting to get out of their chairs when there was no staff present.

"Although we did not observe any falls, people were at risk of falls and injury. People told us they often had to wait for care. One person said,'sometimes you have to wait a long time for the staff to help you'.

"Another person commented, 'quite often in the mornings they [staff] are very rushed and don't have time to chat'.

People were not always protected by the safe and consistent administration of their medicine and others could not access the emergency call bell in their rooms "as they were out of reach".

One person with a visual impairment told inspectors "My call bell was broken so they [staff] put string on it. I can't see it and I can't pull it and I can't manage it."

The damning findings also showed that were no adequate systems in place to ensure the cleanliness of the home.

"People were at risk of infection from contamination from dirty laundry, carpets, bedding and clothes," the inspection report stated.

In its conclusion, the report authors described inadequacies across the home.

"There had been a systematic failure in all areas of assessment and monitoring of people's care resulting in risks to people's health and well-being," it read.

The care home manager, Caroline Ann Vaz, has been contacted for comment.

The findings at Highcroft Manor come after the CQC revealed nearly a third of all care homes across the Uk to be failing.

Sarah Cunliffe, a Northampton-based lawyer who specialises in dealing with cases of care home neglect at Access Legall, said she has been contacted 'regularly by families of relatives who have entrusted the care of their loved ones to a nursing or care home.

She said: "Whilst the majority of care providers are doing a good job, there are too many homes which are poorly run, have insufficient staffing levels and where staff are not adequately trained.’