Concern over safety risks at care home

The Seahorses care home at Chiseldon

The Seahorses care home at Chiseldon

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SAFETY at a Chiseldon care home has been called into question by the health watchdog after a surprise inspection.

Following the visit on May 15, the Care Quality Commission found Seahorses, in Draycott Road, had failed to meet two of the five standards expected of any healthcare provider.

While the quality of care was deemed suitable, the service, which looks after elderly people – some of whom suffer from dementia – fell short of expectations regarding safety and the suitability of its premises.

The measures in place to assess and monitor the quality of provision were also found lacking.

In a report published this month, inspectors said safety was not up to par following recent construction work.

They are also worried that patients are at risk of contracting Legionella, due to a lack of water testing, and they demanded swift action.

“We found that redecoration of the premises had occurred in some areas to improve the environment in which people who use the service lived,” inspectors said in the report.

“However, the provider failed to ensure that people in the care home were safe from some of the risks associated with the premises.

“We asked to see evidence at the inspection of prevention and control measures for Legionella at the care home in accordance with good practice and regulations.

“However, we found the provider had not undertaken the checks they needed to in order to prevent the risks to people from Legionella.

“There were no controls for Legionella, such as water sample testing or checking of hot and cold water temperatures.”

More regular and consistent quality checks would have meant harm could have been avoided, they went on.

“The failure of the provider to undertake regular audits related to the safety and suitability of the premises meant that people, visitors and others were at risk from an unsafe environment.

“For example, regular repeated checks of water safety, fire safety and electrical safety would have flagged issues and the provider could have taken remedial action on to avoid harm.”

They also deplored the home’s failure to record and collect patient and family feedback.

Despite these shortcomings, the watchdog acknowledged that the team was providing good care tailored to residents’ needs.

Seahorses manager Shirley Cole said the care home had taken necessary action to improve.

“All the work has been carried out,” she said.

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