Inspectors slam £3m Sheffield care home

A FLAGSHIP Sheffield care home which charges up to £416 a week was slammed by a standards watchdog as dirty, unhygienic and failing to meet residents’ physical and social needs.

Cotleigh Care Home in Halfway was meant to be a deluxe £3.4 million home, offering 62 beds across four wings with space for 30 people with dementia.

But the reality of life for the residents was exposed in a damning report from the Care Quality Commission, who visited the Sheffcare site unannounced last December.

Now the home has introduced a raft of new measure to boost standards after inspectors awarded the home no stars and a gave it an overall “poor quality” rating.

Categories examined included health and personal care, staffing, social activities, and the home environment, which were all branded poor.
Criticisms included:

– one visitor who regularly had to bathe their relative because of unsatisfactory personal hygiene

– poor attire of patients, particularly those with dementia

– poor management of medicines – including one relative who told inspectors she often left tablets out for her mother to find them still there when she next visited

– a lack of social stimulation and activities – including one resident who told inspectors he “kept himself busy” with individual art projects, and a visitor who said she took her mother out on trips “otherwise she would spend all her time indoors”.

– poor quality meals which arrived at the table cold after being prepared at a different site

– a dirty and unpleasant dining area with stains and dried food remnants on the tables, trolleys and microwaves, along with a lack of specialist equipment and assistance for residents who struggled to feed themselves

– unpleasant and uncomfortable lounges and communal areas – including armchairs with no cushions, bins for incontinence waste located nearby giving rise to bad smells, dusty surfaces and unclean floors, and poor ventilation in the smokers’ room

– unsatisfactory laundry service with garments often returned discoloured and misshapen, and only one machine to meet the demand of 62 residents.

A Sheffcare spokeswoman said a comprehensive action plan had been put into place after the report had been received in February, which had begun with the appointment of a new manager.

An activity worker had been taken on, along with two more laundry workers, and there are currently two care positions advertised on the organisation’s website. Medication is now the responsibility of one team leader and all staff are in the process of taking part in a refresher programme run by Boots pharmacy concerning this issue.

Supervised sessions and refresher care courses are also in place for staff, and relatives’ meetings are being held regularly where people can raise concerns.

A ‘hospitality’ team leader has also been appointed to monitor cleanliness and hygiene, as well as deal with residents’ requests and preferences.

Works are currently being carried out to extend the kitchen at the home to allow meals to be cooked on site, and there are also hopes to extend the laundry room.

The report had also been critical of staffing levels of both care and domestic workers at the home.

It said: “The care staffing level was insufficient to meet the complex needs of people who experience dementia and who were frail due to old age and ill health.”