‘Poor hygiene’ found in ‘unsafe’ care home

The care home in Burgess Hill had a visit from the CQC last October. Picture: Steve Robards
The care home in Burgess Hill had a visit from the CQC last October. Picture: Steve Robards

A Burgess Hill care home for people with mental health needs has been branded ‘unsafe’ by inspectors who found ‘poor standards of hygiene’.

St Andrews Lodge in St Andrews Road, which is run by Mrs Beebee Zareenah and Mr Mohammad Feizal Ruhomally, had a visit from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on October 25 last year, which revealed ‘unpleasant odours’ and a toilet ‘covered in faeces’, the inspector’s report said.

The small care home, which houses up to seven people with mental health needs, has been told to improve after failing to address breaches found in the previous year.

The report has been published following the visit and the care home received an overall rating of ‘requires improvement’ and the home’s safety was branded as ‘inadequate’.

In the previous inspection by the CQC in December 2015, this identified six breaches of the regulations and the provider had send the health regulator an ‘action plan’ in March last year to resolve these, however following the latest inspection ‘continued breaches in three areas’ were found by the CQC although ‘some improvements had been made’, the report revealed.

It said: “At the last inspection we identified a number of concerns with regard to the poor decorative state of some areas of the home and inconsistent standards of cleanliness around the home. We also identified some infection control concerns relating to one person and found the lack of risk management associated with this to be a breach of regulation 12 of the Health and Social Care Act.

“At this inspection we found that little had been done to address these concerns and this has now become a more widespread issue incurring a breach of Regulation 15 of the Health and Social Care Act.

“We noted unpleasant odours in some parts of the house. The downstairs toilet was found to be covered in faeces, staff told us that it had been clean at the start of the day, but it had not been cleaned since it was used. The toilet bowl was subsequently cleaned, but we noted that there remained faecal matter on the tiles surrounding the toilet.

“These poor standards of hygiene presented a potential risk of infection for any person using these facilities.”

Watchdogs discovered risks to people were not always assessed, reviewed and managed and staff did not always have the guidance they needed to keep people safe from avoidable harm.

Safety risks to people in the home were revealed after one resident had told of them being ill and taken to hospital with a suspected stroke. The resident explained that they had been more unsteady on their feet since this incident.

The resident said: “My leg’s ok now, but it was a worry to begin with. I have pain in my other leg too and that’s been difficult. I find stairs a bit awkward.”

This resident’s care plan and risk assessment had not been reviewed following this period of ill health and there was no indication that risks to their mobility had been reassessed or that plans were in place to support them, watchdogs said.

The report also revealed that people were not always involved in decisions about developments within the home. People in the home had told the CQC that they had not been asked about the redecoration of the hallway that was in progress during the inspection.

One person said: “I don’t know what the colour scheme will be, I knew it was going to be redecorated though.”

Another person said: “We haven’t been asked about the colour, I expect it will be brown or neutral colours.”

The report indicated that people were happy with the food at the care home and had enough to eat and drink and despite the safety concerns, people said they ‘felt safe’ at the home and had developed ‘positive relationships with staff’.

One person said: “They are supportive, kind and friendly.”

An activities programme had also been introduced since the last inspection and people in the home said they had ‘more to do’.

The care home was approached for comment but had not responded at the time of going to press.

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