Lancashire care home put into special measures following damning report

INSPECTION: Catterall House, near Garstang
INSPECTION: Catterall House, near Garstang
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A care home has been placed in special measures after inspectors listed a catalogue of problems including dirty and smelly rooms, a dangerous fire escape and a risk of electrocution from water dripping on to plug sockets.

Care Quality Commission inspectors also reported that a patient with a leg in plaster had been “bounced” down the stairs in a wheelchair because he could not access the lift at Catterall House.

All new admissions to the 24 bed private home, on Garstang By-Pass Road at Catterall, have been halted on the Commission’s orders after the surprise inspection in November.

The damning report revealed how a week before inspectors arrived a person had left the building in the night using a first floor metal fire escape and needed hospital treatment after falling.

Inspectors noted the incident could “have had fatal consequences.”

During the inspection a soaking wet pillow was found on a shelf in the sluice room, which meant water was dripping over electrical sockets posing a “serious risk of electrocution”.

Concerns the CQC highlighted included:

• Hot water temperatures presented a scalding risk in some areas of the home, including residents’ en suite bathrooms.

• A patient with a leg in plaster had been “bounced “ down the stairs in his wheelchair because the plaster on his leg meant he could not access the lift.

• Inspectors were told no cleaner had been employed at the home for 12 months.

• Care staff had to carry out all cleaning and laundry duties as well as provide activities for residents.

• Care workers also had to cover for the cook on his days off

• Communal bathrooms and toilets were “visibly dirty”

• Several areas of the home were “very odorous.”

The report did note that training was provided for staff and that residents had made “some positive comments” with one noting they were “looked after very well” and another saying: “They are always very kind to me, I know I can rely on them.”

But two expressed concern over staffing levels and inspectors saw one resident upset after waiting for several hours for assistance to go to the lavatory.

Staff were seen to be patient and caring, knew residents and their likes and dislikes well.

Registered manager Robert Blackburn has now moved to a new job. The report noted inspectors assessed his manner with residents as “kind and caring” and said people spoke highly of him, but it also detailed concerns including that he had failed to identify a new resident’s needs properly. He declined to comment but said he was continuing to have discussions with the Commission about the home.

The home will be reinspected within six months, and if no improvements have been made the home could be closed down. Home owners Varsha and Ramesh Gulati said: “We are working very hard to improve our care home and working with CQC and Social Services to achieve our Action Plan.”