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Fenland care home 'requires improvement' after inspectors find 'rusty commodes' and gaps in 'safe medicine practices'

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A Fenland care home inspected because of concerns over safety has seen its rating downgraded from 'Good' to 'Requires Improvement'.

Inspectors visited Delph House in Welney, home to 19 residents aged over 65, at the end of March and carried out a 'focused' inspection after the Care Quality Commission received concerns in relation to "the safe care and treatment of people supported".

The findings of the two inspectors from the watchdog has now been published and shows there has been a marked slip in standards since it was last inspected in 2019 when it was awarded a 'Good' rating.

Delph House in Welney has been rated 'Requires Improvement' after an inspection. Google/Street View. (48362029)
Delph House in Welney has been rated 'Requires Improvement' after an inspection. Google/Street View. (48362029)

The inspection looked at two key areas whether the home was 'well led' and 'safe' and found it was lacking in both categories.

The report said: “This is based on the findings at this inspection. We have found evidence that the provider needs to make improvement.”

Adding: "People's care environment was found to be visibly unclean with some safety concerns also identified."

These findings included commodes that were "rusty and unclean".

“Pressure cushions used were unclean. Carpets were observed to be stained, and walls in some communal areas and bedrooms were damaged and marked,” said the inspectors, who included an Expert by Experience - a person who has personal experience of using or caring for someone who uses this type of care service.

The report also found systems at the care home “were not robust” at reducing the risk of infection.

Stating: “We were not assured that the provider was admitting people safely to the service. One person who had recently moved into the service was not in isolation in line with Government guidance.

“The risk of not isolating the person had not been assessed. No extra precautions had been taken to reduce any possible spread of infection.”

However, the report commented that inspectors were “somewhat assured” that Delph House was taking steps to ensure infection outbreaks could be effectively prevented or managed.

They were also "somewhat assured"the home was taking precautions to stop visitors catching and spreading infections, as both inspectors were asked to present proof of a recent negative Covid-19 test upon arrival, however they were not asked to wash their hands.

The report also says “safe medication practice had not been consistently followed” and “appropriate action had not been taken where potential safeguarding concerns had been identified.”

Inspectors found “gaps in medicines records, cleaning records, personnel files and care records.”

The report also pointed out that some health and safety checks had also not been effective and concerns had not been identified internally.

It added: “Mobility and falls risks for those within the home had not been fully mitigated. Stairs were left unmonitored even though individuals were known to be at risk of falls and their care plans stated, 'monitor near stairs'. This posed a risk that those at greatest risk could freely access the stairs."

Other risks included: "Items that may cause harm if accidentally ingested such as fluid thickener and toiletries were accessible to people living in the service. This included people who were mobile and who lacked insight into risks. Risks associated with this practice had not been assessed. We brought this to the regional manager's attention who told us fluid thickener should be locked away and proceeded to secure these items."

And it said lessons had not been learnt when things had gone wrong.

The CQC has asked Delph House for a report confirming the action they plan to take to rectify the problems and the report concluded: "We will check that this action is taken by the provider."

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