A care home in Leeds rated “inadequate” by inspectors is facing an investigation into allegations of “institutional abuse” over the care of residents.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said the Harrogate Lodge Care Home in Chapel Allerton, was failing to provide care which is “safe, effective, caring, responsive or well led”.
But Yorkshire Evening Post can reveal it is also facing an inquiry ordered by Leeds Council chiefs, who have suspended placements at the home, into care of people with pressure sores.
The investigations stem from complaints by the family of former resident Bryan Parvin who died aged 83 in May 2013 after developing a pressure sore which led to septicaemia.
The home’s owners last month paid out a five-figure settlement for clinical negligence and now council safeguarding experts are examining five further cases of pressure sores
although none is said to be serious.
Mr Parvin’s son John said he had faced a major battle to get his concerns taken seriously by the home, council officials, the CQC and the NHS but all had been forced to admit serious failings in initial investigations dismissing his complaints.
“Now everybody says there were problems with my dad’s care from a position where they were saying nothing was wrong,” he said.
He accused the CQC of “simply ignoring” his concerns prior to an inspection four months after his father’s death. It was only when a safeguarding investigation by council bosses reported last September that the full extent of problems became clear including failings in pressure sore prevention and management, nutrition and pain control.
“The first CQC report was terrible – they might as well not have bothered,” he said.
The report found the home was meeting five key standards, stating: “Care and treatment was planned and delivered in a way that was intended to ensure people’s safety and welfare.”
Shocked at the findings, he complained to the CQC which admitted “on this occasion it would appear that we failed in our responsibilities”. “It is evident we did not follow up on the concerns that you reported to us, and we didn’t respond in a timely manner,” he was told.
A Leeds Council spokesman said: “A suspension on all local authority placements has been in place at Harrogate Lodge since July 2014. A separate investigation into specific concerns raised regarding Harrogate Lodge is also currently ongoing. At this stage it would not be appropriate for the council to comment further.”
Four Seasons Health Care, which owns the home, said five residents suffered pressure damage to skin during 2014. Three cases were “extremely minor” and healed within days. Two
other residents were “particularly vulnerable” to pressure damage and external medical staff were satisfied with their treatment.
A spokeswoman added: “The wellbeing of those entrusted to our care is our first priority and we are sorry that for a while last year the care at Harrogate Lodge fell below the standards that we expect all of our care homes to provide.”
The home had made “very significant improvements” in the last five months.
*** The latest report by the Care Quality Commission into the Harrogate Lodge Care Home found improvements ordered following a previous check three months earlier in July had not been made and uncovered further concerns.
In a statement, it said: “Inspectors found that responsive care to treat pressure ulcers was poor and people’s records were not sufficiently clear to enable staff to support the residents of the service. We issued compliance actions challenging the provider to improve the service in these areas. We returned in October 2014 focusing on the previous concerns and found the service had not improved enough; we issued warning notices setting a deadline for improvements to be actioned.
“We acknowledged the previous inspection methods were not as in depth as they needed to be however, our new inspection method allows us to get under the skin of a service and find out what the care is really like.”
It said would return to inspect the service again “to see if required improvements have been made to ensure the people living at the home receive care which is safe”.