Published: 00:01, 13 February 2018
A luxury Canterbury care home has been told to clean up its act after inspectors found it required improvement – just a year after it was rated outstanding.
Chaucer House, on St Martin's Hill, Littlebourne Road, prides itself on sustaining an "elegant hotel standard" of decoration but inspectors found a string of problems.
They included a shortage of staff, the premises not being kept consistently clean or hygienic, and health and welfare risks not being properly assessed.
Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission carried out the visit, unannounced, last November.
In 2016 the home had been given an outstanding rating.
But, in response to information from the local authority, relatives and other healthcare professionals citing concerns following the departure of the home’s manager, another inspection was arranged.
The following report included details of a communal area smelling of urine, and a relative having to stay with their loved one during the night because of fears they would not receive the care they needed.
The home, which specialises in dementia care and can accommodate up to 60 people, has said a raft of improvements have already been implemented to iron out the problems.
The report claims residents are not always treated with dignity and respect.
It says: “There were not sufficient staff on duty to provide consistently safe, effective and person-centred care.
"They did not always have the skills to provide the care and support people needed, and had not received consistent supervision and appraisal.
"The building was not consistently clean and hygienic... Some relatives told us they did not think the standard of cleaning was satisfactory" - CQC inspectors
“One relative told us they stayed with their loved one during the night as they were not confident they would receive the care they needed.
“Potential risks to people’s health and safety had not been consistently assessed, and there was not always detailed guidance for staff to follow to mitigate risk.
“The building was not consistently clean and hygienic. Some relatives told us they did not think the standard of cleaning was satisfactory.
“In one communal lounge there was a smell of urine, staff told us that the lounge had been deep-cleaned that week and the sofa removed because of the smell and the lounge would continue to be cleaned.”
One relative of a resident said: “The staff are excellent but there are not enough. They are always pushed.”
However, inspectors praised the friendliness of staff, the range of activities taking place and the quality of food and the distribution of medicines.
In response to the report, the Maria Mallaband Care Group, which runs Chaucer House, said it was confident standards would improve.
Spokesman Vicky Craddock said: “Senior managers are supporting staff at Chaucer House in order to ensure that the necessary improvements are made and sustained.
“We are confident that improvements have been made, and we look forward to demonstrating this when the CQC next visit.”
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