Inadequate and unsafe care home left “confused and distressed” residents at repeated risk of harm

An “inadequate” Devon care home has been criticised for being understaffed, unsafe and leaving “confused and distressed” residents unattended and at repeated risk of harm.

Inspectors witnessed one resident fall and hit their head with no member of staff present, heard another had become stuck under their bed railings on four separate occasions and found residents’ safety was not being monitored or managed.

Staff told inspectors they struggled to meet people’s needs, with one employee telling them: “I’m scared for the people here, for their safety.”

 

Inspectors who visited the premises on December 4 last year rated the home “inadequate” overall and noted several breaches of health and social care regulations.

The White House care home in Teignmouth
The White House care home in Teignmouth

A damning report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) deemed that The White House in Teignmouth was not safe, unresponsive and poorly managed.

The home, which is run by Teignmouth Care Limited, is a 22-bed residential care home set over three floors on Woodway Road.

The report found the safety of the home inadequate, stating: “For one person who was at an identified, ongoing risk of abuse, there was no risk management plan in place.

 

“We felt this person was at risk of harm and on the first day of inspection asked for an urgent risk assessment to be put in place and this be communicated to staff.

“Two of the upstairs windows did not have restrictors. This placed the person whose bedroom it was at avoidable risk of harm of a fall from a height.

“Records showed multiple instances of unwitnessed falls with no evidence that measures were put in place to reduce the risks to people.

An overview of the CQC's findings
An overview of the CQC’s findings

“Records showed one person’s limbs had become entrapped under their bed rails on four occasions between June 2017 and 1 December 2018.

“The last incident report from December 2018 said the person was found ‘distraught and shouting out with both legs trapped under the bed rails causing pain’.”

The report also found that records were not always accurate, up to date or stored securely, staffing levels were not enough to keep people safe and not all staff administering medicines had been assessed as competent to do so.

 

At the end of the report it stated: “If not enough improvement is made within this time frame so that there is still a rating of inadequate for any key question or overall, we will take action in line with our enforcement procedures to begin the process of preventing the provider from operating this service.

“This will lead to cancelling their registration or to varying the terms of their registration within six months if they do not improve. This service will continue to be kept under review and, if needed, could be escalated to urgent enforcement action.

“Where necessary, another inspection will be conducted within a further six months, and if there is not enough improvement so there is still a rating of inadequate for any key question or overall, we will take action to prevent the provider from operating this service.

The White House care home in Teignmouth
The White House care home in Teignmouth

“This will lead to cancelling their registration or to varying the terms of their registration.”

The White House has issued a statement about the report.

A spokesman for the home said: “The quality of care and support we provide is our utmost priority. We have taken on board the findings of the CQC report and are taking proactive steps to ensure these are addressed. 

“The homes were under administration for three years prior to our take over in May 2018.  As a result we identified a number of failings and are looking to address these.

“Following an extensive recruitment process, a new highly-experienced home manager has been appointed and will be working to ensure we deliver the best outcomes for the people we support and their families.”

“Following on from the inspection the following is already underway at the homes:

  • A comprehensive training program for all staff including specialist Dementia training
  • A new electronic care plan and monitoring system
  • A comprehensive auditing process to identify pro-active steps to improve the service and maintain quality levels
  • A rolling program of refurbishment and upgrading of the home.”

You can read the full report on the CQC website here.