Damning report over care of dementia patients at Leeds care home

Ashlands Care Home, Methley.

Ashlands Care Home, Methley.

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A Leeds care home has been ordered to take action after a damning report branded it “inadequate”.

Ashlands in Methley – which mainly looks after elderly people with dementia – has been put in special measures after being heavily criticised by a health watchdog.

Ashlands Care Home, Methley. '22nd January 2016.'Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

Ashlands Care Home, Methley. '22nd January 2016.'Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

Inspectors found care for residents was poor and the service was not safe.

A relative of a resident at a heavily-criticised Leeds care home has told of the “absolutely horrendous” verdict of inspectors.

The relation, who asked to remain anonymous, said she suffered sleepless nights worrying over the way her loved one was being treated.

A health watchdog has published a damning report on Ashlands in Methley, branding it “inadequate”.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said the home – which specialises in caring for older people with dementia – was not safe, caring or effective.

Ashlands, which is run by Roche Healthcare, has been ordered to improve and inspectors will visit again within six months.

Among the issues raised by CQC inspectors, who conducted an unannounced inspection last September, were poor care, a lack of respect for residents and medicines not being given correctly.

The relation said: “It’s just absolutely horrendous.

“The comment that there is ‘poor care’ is just awful and I’ve never seen that before in a CQC report.

“I’m just disgusted that the staff don’t care.

“I didn’t sleep last night because I couldn’t get it out of my head.”

She said she had raised issues with the health watchdog on several occasions, and their report says concerns about the service were reviewed before the visit.

The relative added: “There was no engagement with the staff and the residents.

“People don’t seem to be treated with dignity.

“We always found it was clean, there’s no odour, but staff seem to spend most of their time filling in reports at desks rather than engaging with residents.”

The report by the CQC said: “There was a lack of respect for people who used the service and staff routines took priority,” concluding that people were not well cared for.

Inspectors added that they would take further action if needed: “Where necessary, another inspection will be conducted within a further six months.

“If there is not enough improvement we will move to close the service by adopting our proposal to vary the provider’s registration to remove this location or cancel the provider’s registration.”

The owners of Ashlands told the Yorkshire Evening Post they were continuing to implement a “series of improvements” at the facility since the inspection was carried out.

A statement from Roche Healthcare said: “This is the first time the CQC has produced a report of this nature on Ashlands and we would like to reassure all relatives of residents that we are committed to working with the CQC and local authority to keep the health and welfare of our residents a priority.”

Leeds City Council said it had met with directors of the firm and agreed to suspend placing older people whose care it funds there.

REPORT FINDINGS

The report included a raft of criticisms about care provided to the 40 people living at Ashlands.

Issues raised from the recent inspection included:

* Concerns over staffing levels with inspectors concluding there were not “sufficient skilled and competent staff being deployed to meet people’s needs”.

* Alarms continuously sounding, with staff not responding and often walking past the alert panel without doing anything.

* Residents not getting their medication correctly. Over a 25 day period, one person had not received their medicines on 20 occasions due to being asleep. Another person had not been given their medication eight times in the same period. Another resident was on a weekly tablet but had only received it once in the last four weeks.

* Medicines were not always available because they had run out.

* Ten people were given their medicines without their knowledge, in contravention of guidelines.

* Some residents were given liquid food supplements they had not been prescribed.

* One resident said they didn’t feel safe.

* Staff used inappropriate techniques to move people – one used clothing to pull the person up.

* Fire alarm testing was not completed weekly and fire drills were not carried out every six months, even though a risk assessment said they had been.

* Residents sat for most of the day with little stimulation and interaction.

* One staff member described tea time meals as “disgusting”.

* A number of residents had only socks on or nothing on their feet.

* One person had to wait 15 minutes before they were helped to the toilet.