Inadequate Worthing care home ‘not a home you would want your mum to live in’

A CARE home branded ‘inadequate’ by inspectors rationed toilet paper and put residents at risk of malnutrition, a report revealed.

Spring Lodge, in Madeira Avenue, Worthing, closed in December and was put up for sale shortly after the Care Quality Commission inspection, with its findings published this week.

Rating all aspects as ‘inadequate’, numerous concerns were raised around the management, treatment of residents and the general state of the home, which was ‘full of cobwebs’ and smelt of urine.

CQC inspector Adrian Hughes described the home as ‘unacceptable’ and said enforcement action would have been taken had the home not closed.

He said: “This was not the kind of home that any of us would like our mum, or any other loved one, to live in, and it is good news that it is no longer operating.

“We saw that the home was dirty, the management of medicines was dangerous, and there were not enough staff on duty at night to keep people safe.

“It is clearly not appropriate for toilet paper to be rationed to control challenging behaviour, or for people living with dementia to be told off and spoken about in a derogatory way if they do not behave themselves.”

Inspectors arrived unannounced on November 18 and 20, interviewing staff, relatives and patients.

Among the key issues were:

n Rationing of items including toilet paper and sanitary towels

n Incomplete care plans, with a risk residents would not receive the correct medication

n Residents at risk of malnutrition and dehydration

n Allegations of bullying by the registered manager

n A risk that residents were ‘illegally deprived of their liberty’

One relative reported their loved one never felt safe because of anxieties about being ‘put outside’, while one residents had lost 11.2 kilogrammes of weight over seven months and another had not had a drink for 14 and a half hours.

Inspectors heard a woman ‘screaming’ in the lounge during a chiropodist appointment but staff insisted it was normal as she didn’t like her feet being touched. They also found the home understaffed at night, with some staff lacking legal checks.

One positive comment came from a resident, who remarked it was ‘the best restaurant in Worthing’.

Manager Bibi Jondah, a director of Holly Spring Ltd, which ran Spring Lodge defended her management and denied the report’s allegations.

She plans to lodge a formal complaint against the CQC.

She said: “I want them to look into the facts. I don’t think this should happen. It’s all false allegations.

“Toilet paper was never rationed. One resident had learning difficulties who used one roll in an hour and blocked the toilet, so we were managing her toilet roll and pads.

“I always bought fresh meat and vegetables and none of my receipts were checked.”