Closed down care home slammed by health watchdog

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A care home that was shut down by its owner has been slammed in a report by the health watchdog.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated West House Care Home in Quarry Road, Dewsbury, inadequate and reported residents were not kept safe, people’s dignity was not respected and there was no evidence that staff received adequate supervision or training.

West House was closed at the same time as Sunnyside Care Home in Oxford Road by owner Northfields Care Homes Limited after a damning CQC report into Oxford Grange Care Home, which was also owned by the company.

In a report published yesterday (Wednesday) a resident is quoted: “I don’t feel safe. They lock the doors at certain times and other times your door is open. I don’t like it. I haven’t got any money but still.”

Of the 15 bedrooms examined by inspectors, six beds had been made with dirty, and in three cases heavily soiled, linen. And in two bedrooms the mattresses smelled strongly of urine.

Inspectors also found faecal smearing on the floor of a communal toilet and on the wall in one of the bedrooms.

Several emergency pull cords were found tied up too high for even a person standing up to reach and residents did not always receive their medicine as prescribed.

One resident said: “The staff are very nice but sometimes they’re very busy, especially at night.”

Another said: “When I need someone I can’t always find them to help me.”

A bouquet of flowers bought for a resident’s birthday the previous week was left in its cellophane wrap and staff did not know that a box put away on top of a wardrobe contained a cushion with the words “Best Mum” embroidered.

A relative of another person said clothing from had gone missing and they sometimes saw items worn by other residents.

The report found some staff interactions with residents were caring, noting carers helped people who had trouble eating in the correct, one-to-one way.

A resident’s relative told the CQC: “The staff are nice but some of the new ones have come from a place that was closed down.

“Some are very young and not sure if they have the experience of working with people with dementia. You need to know what you’re doing.”

One ensuite bathroom did not have hot water and another only ran hot in the basin but not in the shower.

A member of staff confirmed they had been told about the second problem several weeks before.

The report said there was a lack of stimulating activities available for residents and people were often left sitting inanimate, asleep on lounge chairs, wandering the corridors or trying to get out of the front door.

It said: “Staff did not approach or engage with these people and we found the atmosphere in the home was dismal.

“Lounges resembled waiting rooms rather than living spaces and there was nowhere for staff to engage effectively or set up activities.”

A person who was upset and in need of reassurance was told “don’t worry about it”, and two others appeared as though “they had not had a bath or shower for three weeks”.

Staff could not be sure whether this was due to people’s care or the recording of care and there were no audits in place to pick up on the problem.

It said staffing levels were insufficient.

The CQC said there was a significant lack of leadership and the home was without a registered manager from March-July.

Oxford Grange Care Home was closed by the CQC in May before the publication of a damning report that branded it inadequate.

A report into Sunnyside is yet to be published.

The Reporter contacted Northfields Care Homes Limited for comment but has not yet received a reply.