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More than 9,000 elderly and disabled people living in unsafe care homes

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More than 9,000 elderly and disabled people are living in care homes ruled unsafe by inspectors as the social care crisis deepens.

The Care Quality Commission watchdog rated 251 residential care homes in England as “inadequate” when it comes to safety, according to Labour Party research.

Reasons for the rating can include too few staff, bullying, harassment and mismanagement of medicines.

Inspectors also found instances of carers not ensuring the vulnerable had enough to eat, workers getting jobs without full checks and identities of agency staff being unverified.

Conditions in homes were also blasted by the watchdog.

Examples include unsealed clinical waste being found in open bags on a housekeeping trolley and fire doors that failed to close properly.

West Ridings Care Home, in Wakefield – The CQC said in a March 7 report: “The service was not safe. Recruitment processes were not robust and appropriate safeguards were not in place for agency staff. Medicines were not managed safely. “Where people displayed behaviour which challenged, staff had little guidance as to how to manage these situations.” Elaine Gilvear, of Advinia Care Homes, said: “We have implemented a robust action plan. We look forward to CQC re-inspecting the home.”

Mulberry Court, Runwood Homes Senior Living – A report released on February 28 says: “There had been substantiated concerns from the local authority about neglect. “We had concerns people were not always safe. Staff did not always respond to safeguarding concerns in a safe way.” It adds: “In one lounge we found bodily fluid on a cushion.” Operator Runwood Homes Senior Living said: “Mulberry Court has been recently inspected and has a newly improved rating. The service now delivers very high quality.”

Residential care costs around £600 a week in a standard care home where the elderly get help with daily tasks.

Explaining its role, the CQC says on its website: “We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find, including performance ratings to help people choose care.

“We set out what good and outstanding care looks like and make sure services meet fundamental ­standards.”

Dealing specifically with safety, it adds: “You must not be given unsafe care or treatment or be put at risk of harm that could be avoided.

“Providers must assess risks to your health and safety during care or treatment and make sure staff have the ­qualifications, competence, skills and experience to keep you safe.”

Hawksyard Priory Nursing Home, in Staffordshire – Inspectors were criticial in a report from May 15, saying: “We found medicines with opening and discard by dates not recorded. People were at risk of receiving medicines that were not effective. “People with risks were not monitored effectively. “No checks were done daily to check if people had received sufficient fluid intake.” The home’s new owner William Forrester said: “There have been significant improvements in a short space of time.”

Gallions View Care Home in South East London – This home was rapped in a report published on June 7, which says: “Risks relating to care and support were not always managed safely. “There were not always updated risk assessments and risk management plans in place to minimise risk of falls. One person’s incontinence pads had not been changed regularly between March 25 and 31.” Owner HC-One said: “Gallions View in no way represented the high-quality care at our homes. Gallions View has now closed.”

Its grim findings come as the Mirror’s Fair Care for All campaign demands a shake-up

Its grim findings come as the Mirror’s Fair Care for All campaign demands a shake-up.

We want the creation of a National Care System to run alongside the NHS, carers to be paid the Living Wage and a National Commission on how to fund a care revolution.

Shadow Social Care Minister Barbara Keeley said: “Older and disabled people often move into care homes because they are seen as safer than them staying in their own home.

“The fact there are over 9,000 people in homes which are clearly unsafe is a matter of shame for this government.

It is unacceptable that the end result of a decade of government cuts is that thousands of people are facing poor quality care, and even neglect or abuse.

Cherry Tree Lodge in Warwick – A CQC report published on March 21 states: “There were insufficient staff with the skills, experience and knowledge of individual needs for safe care. “On the first day of inspection eight care staff were on duty. “Three were agency, two had never worked [there] before.” It found of five permanent staff, one had been there just two weeks and another was still in their probationary period. Parent company Runwood Homes said: “The safety of our residents is paramount.

Apthorp Care Centre in Barnet, North London – The Care Quality Commission said in a July 15 report: “We found bathrooms and toilets dirty and used inappropriately for storage. Two shared toilets had faeces visible on the outside of toilet bowls. “Flooring in some bathrooms was damaged meaning they could not be effectively cleaned.” Former parent firm the Fremantle Trust said it transferred care services to barnet council’s your Choice in July 2019 and worked to “ensure a seamless transition.”

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“The Government must act now to ensure nobody is forced to endure this.

“Labour will invest an extra £8billion in social care, including supporting 160,000 more people to access the support they need in their own homes, rather than relying on care homes which have been deemed unsafe.”

The Department of Health and Social Care said: “People using social care services in England must receive high quality, safe and compassionate care.”

Its spokeswoman added: “Already 84% of providers are rated good or outstanding by the Care Quality Commission.

“To protect the public and hold providers to account we gave the CQC powers to crack down on poor care or abuse and hold people accountable.

“Any services given an inadequate rating will have to improve or risk being closed down.”



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