Weston care home promises action after ‘shocking’ report

TREATED with disrespect by staff, handed out-of-date medicines and dressed in other residents’ clothes – the nightmare faced by more than a dozen people at a care home in Weston.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has issued a damning report – raising no less than 11 areas which need immediate improvement – of the Charlton House Care Home in Walliscote Road.

The inspection, published last week, has raised moderate to major concerns over a wide range of issues including respect for patients, the safety of care, protection from abuse, cleanliness and record-keeping.

The report, produced following a flurry of anonymous complaints to the CQC, has ordered bosses at the home to urgently turn the 27-year-old facility around.

Talking to the Mercury, the home manager responded by acknowledging major failings, but pledged to make the home ‘better than it has ever been before’.

She also admitted she would not want to stay at the home following the report, which she said made ‘horrendous reading’.

The report, although finding many residents were happy, pinpointed staff acting in a dismissive and unkind manner to a person left alone for long periods of time.

People living there were also not offered meal choices and were even dressed in other residents’ clothes.

An incident of abuse between residents was not reported to the CQC. Later, one member of staff told inspectors ‘a lot of this sort of thing happens here’.

A look into rooms found soiled incontinence pads in domestic bins, along with used aprons and gloves.

A pot of cream with no prescription label was found in one person’s room, while a tube of medicine was found seven months out of date.

There were also concerns raised that the home failed to offer accessibility to people in wheelchairs, leaving residents at risk of falls. Record-keeping was also found to be out of date, inaccurate and not easily available.

Each person had a care file, but these did not always provide a true reflection of patients’ needs, the inspectors stated.

The home cares for up to 15 people with learning disabilities and is run by Lal Gunaratne, which owns two other homes in the town.

It was put up for sale earlier this year, but taken off the market following the inspection, which took place on March 2 and 8.

Manager Veronica Bishop, who has been at the home for eight years, said she was ‘shocked’ by the findings.

She said: “This home has been running for nearly 30 years and the people here are actually happy – there is no neglect toward residents.

“But we have let things slip and we’ve now got to pull our socks up after this report, which does make horrendous reading. We’re going to turn this home around and make it better than it has ever been before.

“Instant action has been taken in response to the inspection and we have sent a report to the CQC detailing what we have done.”

Mrs Bishop said a staff trainer had been employed to improve note-keeping, clinical bins had been introduced and disabled accessibility improved.

The CQC has said it will monitor the proposed improvements to make sure they are being made.