Care home residents 'at risk of harm'

10:44am Monday 28th January 2013

By Julian Robinson

TOILET seats were found smeared with faeces while vulnerable residents were put “at risk of harm” at a Southampton care home, a report has revealed.

Medicines intended for one individual were found in the wrong person’s bedroom during an unannounced inspection at Glen Lee in Bitterne.

A soiled incontinence pad was found discarded in a communal bath while toilets and a bathroom had an “offensive odour”.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) immediately ordered provider Southampton City Council to make improvements after warning the authority it was “failing to protect the safety and welfare of people”.

Council bosses say demands have now been met.

The shot across the bows came after an inspection at the Wavell Road facility in November – a follow-up inspection a month later found that the warning to improve had been acted on.

During their first visit, inspectors found that although medicines were being prescribed, they were not given to people appropriately.

They discovered that staff had left a pot containing the morning medications labeled for one person in another room and within the reach of a vulnerable resident with cognitive problems.

Brown residue was found in one of the bedrooms and managers said one of the domestic staff was serving breakfast and was not able to clean the home.

The inspector’s report said this meant that people were “exposed to infection control risks”.

The home, which has a capacity of 34 residents, was checked again at lunchtime and the areas had been cleaned.

It met the required standard in five out of the eight categories under which it was inspected.

There were also a number of positive findings including the provision of food while staff received praise from a number of the residents.

But the facility fell short in staffing levels, management of medicine and the care and welfare of people who use the service.

A warning notice found that Southampton City Council was in breach of regulation 13 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

Ian Biggs, Deputy Director of CQC in the South, said: “We check the national standards of quality and safety in care that the law says everyone should be able to expect.

“These standards exist to protect people who cannot always speak up for themselves from being put at risk of harm. Providers have a duty to be compliant.

“Inadequate medicines management puts people at serious and sometimes immediate risk of harm. The issues identified here required immediate attention.

“Our inspectors were pleased to find when they returned that improvements had been made. We will continue to monitor the home closely to ensure that those improvements are sustained.”

Southampton City Council’s cabinet member for Adult Services, Matt Stevens, said the authority was now happy that the inspection demands had been met.

He added that the council was concentrating on making sure standards were high at all its homes.

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