Stained mattress covers and 'strong smell' of urine found at care home
PUBLISHED: 10:48 24 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:48 24 December 2019
Mattress covers stained with urine were found at a dementia care home which has been slammed by inspectors.
Standards at St George's Care Home, in Beccles, have fallen since being rated as requiring improvement in February, inspectors said, with the Care Quality Commission rating the service as inadequate.
An "unpleasant odour of urine" was found throughout the home, while four mattress covers "were stained with a substance whose odour and appearance was consistent with urine," the report states. A "brown substance" was found on another cover, while an audit carried out by the manager later found a further 23 mattress covers were stained.
The home was rated inadequate in 'safety', 'caring' and 'well-led' categories after "significant shortfalls", as well as being rated as requiring improvement for effectiveness and responsiveness.
Inspectors, who visited unannounced three times in October and November, found a spate of chest infections and cold among the home's 24 residents.
The report states: "We observed staff displaying poor infection control practice, such as not wearing gloves or washing their hands after providing support to people coughing or blowing their nose.
"Staff were laying tables with cutlery for the afternoon meal while people were still seated having breakfast and coughing next to the cutlery.
"An uncovered plate of snacks was on a table in the lounge which people were seated around coughing."
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The report criticised the cleanliness of the home, with spills of food and fluid on tables and chairs and crumbs and other food left on the floor throughout the inspection.
Inspectors also found staff to be disorganised, with some residents left in communal areas for extended periods of time with no staff present.
The report also states: "People's dignity was not always upheld by staff who were not discreet when providing people with support and the actions of staff were not always caring. One relative told us they witnessed staff weighing people in the main lounge which they thought was far too public.
"Despite the concerns we identified, people told us they felt safe and the staff were nice to them. It was clear from our observations that staff knew people well and knew of their individual likes, dislikes and interests."
Inspectors found care plans failed to include basic information about reducing risks to residents, including about choking or falling, or for patients with conditions such as epilepsy or diabetes. Improvements had been made by the final visit.
The report states: "A whistle-blower contacted the CQC prior to the inspection to raise concerns about the way in which people were supported to eat. They said staff did not always give people adequate time to finish their mouthful of food before being given another."
The care home remains in special measures, with another inspection to take place in the next six months to check for "significant improvement."
Failure to improve the service before then could see the care home closed.
The care home has been contacted for comment.