Preston charity for the deaf found 'inadequate' by health watchdog after injuries and self-harm go unreported

The Deafway charity, that cares for deaf people from Lancashire, has been rated inadequate and put into special measures after its users were found with 'unexplained injuries' and given medications by untrained staff.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 3:45 pm

Following an unannounced inspection in April of this year, the Care Quality Commission found the charity, off Brockholes Brow, to be inadequate in the safety, effectiveness and management of its services.

Deaf people and users with learning difficulties received improper treatment by the charity, where it was found they suffered repeated falls and incidents of unexplained injuries.

Its findings also revealed that the service, which is registered to give personal care and accommodation to up to 34 people living with deafness and learning difficulties, had not followed Covid-19 measures to facilitate family visitors to the site and had failed to implement infection prevention practices outlined in guidance to keep people safe from Covid-19.

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Falls, injuries and self-harm went unreported at the residential home
Falls, injuries and self-harm went unreported at the residential home

And the inspection added that the charity had failed to protect people against the risk of abuse or improper treatment as some staff members had not received training in the safeguarding of adults and the safe moving and handling of people.

The inspector found a significant number of repeated falls, unexplained injuries and multiple incidents of self-injury in the people using the service.

Deafway Brockholes Brow has since owned up to the serious failings at the homes and instructed a new manager who is currently undergoing CQC training for the role.

In a statement to the Post, the charity blamed 'overwhelming regulations' and a 'lapse in day to day management' as the reasons behind the failings.

The charity has now been placed under special measures following an inspection

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is an independent regulator of health and social care in England, ensuring that health and social care services are providing the necessary service for those in their care.

The CQC inspector said that on their visit, “people told us they felt safe and staff were kind and caring”, before adding that they “did not always receive safe care and treatment”.

They added: "While safeguarding protocols were in place, they had not always been followed to report repeated falls and repeated incidents of self-harm.

"Risks to people were not adequately assessed and reviewed or used to make effective decisions on people's care.

"People at risk of unintentional weight loss had not been adequately monitored to reduce deterioration and people were not supported by suitably qualified staff to reduce risks of harm."

The inspector then went on to add that parts of the premises had been left in a state of disrepair, with infection prevention practices not being implemented to protect them from Covid-19.

They said: "The provider had failed to carry out effective health and safety risk assessments in and around the premises. We observed parts of the premises including bathrooms and laundry rooms that were in a state of disrepair and mouldy.

"Some parts of the premises were not clean, including areas with mould and parts of the toilets and bathrooms that were visibly not clean and stained."

Having spoken to eight members of staff and four people living at the Brockholes Brow site, the CQC report rated the service in five separate areas.

The charity was found to be inadequate in the areas of safety and effectiveness, requiring improvement in being caring and responsive, and inadequate in how well-led it is.

The overall rating of Deafway was branded as inadequate, meaning the charity has now been placed under special measures and will be required to work with the CQC to make sure the necessary changes are put in place.

Another inspection is set to be followed through within another six months time to check for 'significant improvements', where Deafway could then be forced to have its services stopped if they are not made.

In a response to the Post, a spokesperson for Deafway said: "Deafway is a service which has always been well run and maintained, up until recently with overwhelming regulations and a lapse in day to day management the home has found itself in special measures.

"As a company, we take our responsibilities very seriously and have acted rapidly by engaging an interim management company Caresolve who are well respected within the industry and have a proven track record in getting care services back on track.

"We have further employed a new manager who is currently undergoing her CQC registration as a registered manager for the home.

"We are working very closely with our regulatory body CQC, Lancashire County Council and other agencies to get Deafway back on track and rated as Good if not outstanding in time.

"We love and care for our service users very dearly and thank everyone for all their help, support."

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