Home ‘staff don’t have time to be friendly’

Dean House was told to improve by the Care Quality Commission. Picture: Derek Martin

Dean House was told to improve by the Care Quality Commission. Picture: Derek Martin

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A care home has been told to improve after a person who could not reach their drink had it simply taken away.

Dean House, in Sea Lane, East Preston was graded ‘requires improvement’ by the Care Quality Commission, the second lowest possible score.

Dean House is a residential care home for up to 27 people, some of whom are living with dementia or diabetes. The CQC visited the home unnanounced in September, releasing a report this month.

Inspectors raised a number of concerns with the service provided. The home scored ‘requires improvement’ in four out of five CQC categories, including safety.

The fluid intake of certain residents was criticised, with one example cited where ‘one person had two drinks left beside their bed, they were unable to reach their drinks and these were simply taken away two hours later.’

“There is not much to do here,” one person is quoted as saying. “I don’t get visitors, I have no family, I get incredibly lonely.”

Inspectors said they saw people spending long periods of time alone in their rooms, only seeing staff for personal care or food and drink.

People were at risk of ‘social isolation’, the report said.

“The staff don’t have time to be friendly,” one person is quoted as saying in the report.

Effective systems were in place for storing and disposing of medicines, however the CQC observed that several medicines with a limited shelf life had been opened and no dates had been recorded on the containers to inform staff of how long the medicines had been in use.

This meant people were at risk of receiving out of date medicines that may be less effective or cause them harm, the report said.

Inspectors also noted that there were sometimes ‘strong, offensive smells’ within the home and that not all areas of the home were hygienically clean.

Inspectors did praise the staff’s undestanding of safeguarding and said they were ‘suitably qualified, skilled and experienced to ensure that they understood people’s needs and conditions’.

They also noted the ‘positive relationships’ between people and staff and the ‘relaxed atmosphere’ within the home.

A spokesperson for Dean House said: “We are extremely disappointed that the evaluation only highlighted negative factors and did not report or take into consideration all the positive comments people shared with the inspectors.

We have taken immediate action to address the areas of improvement required and will continue to develop and improve the service.

We welcome a further visit from CQC as soon as possible to review all the positive changes that have already been made.

A relative told us, ‘We as a family are very confident and happy with our relative’s care here!’”

The full report can be read on the CQC website.

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