Bupa’s Oak Lodge Care home threatened with closure by CQC

BOSSES at a Hampshire nursing home have been ordered to urgently improve standards or risk being shut down.

The care industry watchdog found “major concerns” with the home for elderly dementia sufferers, including fears over medication not being properly administered and risks of patients choking on food and being hurt when moved.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found the Bupa-run Oak Lodge Nursing Home in Southampton, which is registered to care for up to 71 people, fell “a long way short”

of care standards and was failing to protect the safety and welfare of people there.

The Commission last night issued formal warning notices to Bupa that it faces “serious consequences”, including the cancellation of services at the home, if it fails to make urgent improvements to care by a deadline of September 9.

Bupa said it accepted it was not meeting its own “high level of service” at the home in Freemantle Common Road, Bitterne, and was working to ensure it improves.

The Commission’s warning followed two unannounced visits to the home in August to follow up on earlier concerns. A critical report, published in June, found a failure to meet half of the 16 essential standards required by the CQC.

The Bupa home was built on Southampton City Council land in a deal that lets the authority buy the use of more than half the beds at a cut price.

The warning comes just weeks after the Daily Echo revealed social services had stopped sending patients to Tatchbury Manor Nursing Home in Netley Marsh following a damning report by the CQC that called for changes to squalid conditions.

An unhappy relative of one former Oak Lodge resident told the Daily Echo concerns were first raised with staff earlier this year.

The relative, who asked not to be named, said: “My concern is the residents that are left in there, and their families don’t realise because they don’t visit.”

In the CQC’s initial report on Oak Lodge, officials identified a number of concerns, including:

• One resident was left without any medicines for two days after the home ran out, while another prescribed antibiotics didn’t receive them because staff failed to ensure they were available.

• Inconsistent care plans identifying risks to patients and reviews lacking so they didn’t accurately reflect people’s needs, including when their health had deteriorated or they had lost weight.

• One resident needed a pureed diet but the care plan had not been updated to reflect that.

• Staff failing to take action over a resident seen walking around in a state of undress, while another was left exposed after being dressed in trousers that were too big.

• Records of food and drink given to residents were sometimes missing for whole days, putting some at risk of dehydration or malnutrition.

• No one was found to be in charge of infection control.

Roxy Boyce, the regional director of CQC in the southeast, said: “The care being provided at Oak Lodge falls a long way short. These warnings send a clear message that Bupa Care Homes needs to address these issues urgently or face serious consequences.”

Bupa regional director Mark Elliott said: “We accept that we have not been providing the high level of service we expect of all our homes at Oak Lodge.

“Our residents’ welfare is our number one priority. That is why we have brought in senior managers and extra resources and we are working closely with the city council and CQC to ensure that the service improves.”