Home Is Closed To New Residents

An elderly people’s home in Lancashire is to remain closed to new admissions. Bolton Council’s social services department closed Farnworth Care Home in Church Street, Farnworth, to new residents in February after a damning inspection report condemned the standard of care it offers. And despite a second inspection finding that the home had made significant improvements since the initial report at the start of the year, the decision has not been revoked.

In the initial report, which was carried out by the Commission for Social Care in January, it was claimed residents were left with no water with which to take their medication, were not bathed or changed and those who needed help eating were not given it.

It also revealed that staff spent too much time in the smoking room rather than with residents and there were a lack of leisure activities.

The report into the home, which has capacity for 120 residents, but houses just 50, blamed a lack of staff, insufficient staff training and an inadequate system of running the home.

It said: “Many concerns about the care and services provided by the home have been made recently by residents’ families and by care workers and other professionals who visit the home regularly.

“The findings of this inspection are that many of the residents are not being given a good standard of care and that there is a risk that these people’s health, personal and social care needs are not being dealt with properly.”

Inspectors returned for a repeat visit in April and noted improvements had been made, but the home, which is owned by Abbey Healthcare Limited, is still closed to new admissions.

The report said staff training had been carried out, an activities manager employed and that care had improved.

Bosses at the home insisted the smoking room had now been closed, the menu revamped and staff were fully committed to improving care.

In a statement they said: “It’s deeply distressing because there’s been a lot of hard work gone on and lots of improvements been made. The staff are completely dedicated and there are a lot of skilled and highly professional individuals working here.”

Meanwhile, one former member of staff, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “The care at the home was absolutely dreadful when I was working there. There was no interest at all in the residents’ wellbeing. The food was terrible and people were just left to fend for themselves. For example, those who needed food cutting up often didn’t have it done, and there were times when those on soft diets weren’t given them. People weren’t changed and could be sat in soiled clothes for some time.”

A spokesman for Bolton Council said: “The local authority has stopped new placements to the home since February because of issues which have been fully discussed with the home owner and the Commission for Social Care Inspection. All existing residents placed by Bolton Council in the home have been reviewed.

“The owner and managers have been working closely with the local authority and CSCI to resolve the problems and improve conditions. We are holding a further meeting in early July and are hoping that these issues will be resolved, and placements may restart.”