Care home hits back at ‘unfair’ report

The manager of a Sonning Common care home for the elderly has hit out at a damning inspection by an industry watchdog, calling it “unfair and unjustified”.

Orchard Lodge in Baskerville Road, which provides care for 11 residents with dementia, has been issued with a formal warning by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to improve standards or face enforcement action.

Registered nurse Nageeb Aubdool, who has run the home since June 2009, told getreading he was at a loss to explain many of the findings of the report and insisted all residents and their families were happy.

He said: “My immediate reaction was that it was unfair and unjustified. I am full to capacity and have not had one complaint from a relative or anyone saying they want to take a member of their family away.

“If after 40 years of nursing I am unable to do this job I may as well pack up and go.

“I know they have a job to do but sometimes perhaps they do not have any caring experience.”

Mr Aubdool claimed a small number of staff had left after refusing to meet his high standards and believed they may have put pressure on the inspectorate.

Inspectors made an unannounced visit to the home at the end of July to follow up concerns that had been identified during a previous inspection in February.

They found appropriate action had not been taken following the initial report, which concluded Orchard Lodge was failing to meet nine out of 16 essential standards for quality and safety.

These included incomplete or out-of-date care plans and risk assessments, failing to provide residents with adequate nutrition and hydration, not protecting people with limited mobility or those prone to falls and appropriate care was not being provided for people with specific needs such as diabetes and pressure ulcers.

The CQC also found that systems were not in place to monitor the quality of care given or to demonstrate there were enough appropriate qualified and experienced staff on duty at all times, with some admitting taking on jobs they did not feel competent to do.

Mr Aubdool admitted his paperwork could be better, but insisted residents were properly fed and well looked after by trained staff.

He added that he had made improvements to risk assessments and insisted he would consult doctors, nutritionists and other professionals in providing care for residents.

He said: “I am not 100 per cent perfect. If I have made a mistake I am willing to learn from it and make everything right. It is my priority to keep them safe and sound.

“Not for one minute have I endangered the life of my residents.

“When people come here to be cared for we do not just care for them but the whole family because we know how difficult it is to leave mum or dad in a home.”

The CQC regulates, inspects and reviews all adult social care services in the public, private and voluntary sectors in England and its aim is to protect the lives of vulnerable people.

Roxy Royce, South East regional director of CQC, said: “This warning sends a clear public message that Mr Aubdool needs to address these issues as a matter of urgency or face serious consequences.

“Our inspectors will return to Orchard Lodge in the near future and if we find that the provider is not making the required progress we won’t hesitate to use our legal powers on behalf of the people who live there.”

Lodge is ‘impeccable’

Victor Mosey has been so pleased with the care his wife has received at Orchard Lodge that he joked he had booked himself a place at the home.

The 89-year-old had to give up looking after wheelchair-bound wife Vera, 92, at their home in nearby Woodlands Road, and now visits her several times a week.

He said: “The staff here are very co-operative and attentive but also allow us to keep the room to ourselves.

“The beds are impeccably clean, the laundry is very good and they get good food.”

Mr Mosey admitted he was surprised at the CQC inspection. He said: “It is their business to check up on anything and undoubtedly always want to find fault.

“It reminds me of being in the services – it doesn’t matter how many times you clean the barrack rooms, the sergeant major will always find something.”

And letters to the home also praised the staff and the care that residents receive.

One wrote: “It’s wonderful to know your mum is in a good home and as a family we can relax and look forward to the next visit.”

The family of a now deceased man from Sonning Common man told how staff were “kind and patient”.

A woman from Caversham Park wrote: “The food was well-cooked, varied and well-balanced with plenty of fluids,” while another letter said, “all the meals seem very nutritious and varied”.

The son of one resident wrote: “Whenever there has been a change in dad’s care plan this has been discussed with us. Every effort has been made by all the staff to ensure that dad’s quality of life is maintained.”

A daughter of another wrote: “I can say that my mother living here has prolonged her life. I hope the owners and staff remain here to get on with the first-class job they are doing.”