Appalling standards at Middleton Lodge care home

THE owners of a care home where inspectors found “appalling hygiene” must make immediate improvements or face further action.

The warning came after an unannounced inspection of Middleton Lodge care home in Station Road, Middleton St George, near Darlington, by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

During their visit on June 14 and 15, inspectors found “appalling cleanliness and hygiene”, that the home was in a poor state of repair, the management of medicines was poor and that residents were not receiving the correct levels of food and nutrition.

Inspectors found that carpets and mattresses were badly stained, that lounge furniture was soiled and stained and that there was no equipment to clean carpets.

Staff at the home, owned and managed by Potensial Ltd, could not meet the needs of one resident who was frequently incontinent while sitting in the living room.

In the dining room, each table leg had a band of a greyblack substance for about 10cm up from the floor.

In the kitchen, the cooker hob was heavily soiled and extractor fan filters were coated with grease.

The light switch in one bedroom was badly damaged and posed a high risk of electrocution.

One resident who needed close monitoring was not being given the required number of drinks and meals and needed an immediate medical assessment because their weight had fallen below the minimum safe level.

The home’s administration of medicines were poorly handled and records showed that a service user had been given an overdose.

Jo Dent, the regional director of the commission, said: “What we found at Middleton Lodge was unacceptable. This warning sends a clear and public message that Potensial Ltd needs to address these issues as a matter of urgency or face serious consequences.”

She said inspectors would return to Middleton Lodge and that the CQC would not hesitate to use legal powers to protect residents.

A spokesman for the home said: “Potensial Ltd strives to meet the highest standards at all times.

“We place great emphasis on ensuring that the people we support receive the highest standard of care within a safe and pleasant environment.

Since the CQC visit, immediate and decisive action was implemented at Middleton Lodge to make improvements and to address the concerns raised.”