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Inspectors put care home into special measures

By Sean Axtell

Residents at a Kent care home suffered unexplained bruising and tears to their skin and were unable to complain to untrained staff, an inspection has found.

The revelation came after the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) latest probe into St Claire Care Home, Folkestone, resulting in the home, run by Rosemere Care Homes, being placed in special measures.

In a report this week, inspectors also said rooms smelt of cat urine, a fire escape was unsafe, and accidents and injuries were not investigated.

Dementia patients were discovered with unexplained cuts and bruises at St Claire Care Home, Folkestone: Google
Dementia patients were discovered with unexplained cuts and bruises at St Claire Care Home, Folkestone: Google

The report said: “Staff had documented that people had unexplained bruising and skin tears and although the registered manager told us they had, ‘checked these out’ there were no records of these checks.

“People were unable to confirm these checks had taken place, as they were living with dementia.”

The service, which looks after up to 39 elderly guests, “smelt of cat urine” despite staff flagging the issue with management. The home’s website insists its carers are well trained and under a strong leadership but the watchdog discovered a “lack of guidance” for staff and guests at risk of receiving inconsistent care.

Guests told inspectors a lack of dementia-specific activities made them bored and housebound individuals said they were not supported to go to church or practice their faith.

The report praises staff but says they are not deployed effectively, leaving guests waiting at lunchtime.

The report said: “People told us that staff were kind and caring, but that they had to wait to receive support.

“Staff had not been deployed effectively and people were left waiting at lunchtime.

“They did not always receive the assistance they needed to eat effectively,” it says. When the CQC discovered breaches to the Health and Social Care Act last year, it asked the home to provide an action plan.

Further breaches were discovered in the latest inspection, causing the home to score “inadequate” for four categories – safety, care, responsiveness and leadership.

It scored “requires improvement” for leadership. Homes in special measures must clean up their act within six months or could face closure.

The home has been contacted for comment.

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