The basic needs of vulnerable residents were not being met at a care home where bedrooms “smelt strongly of urine”, inspectors have ruled.
A report has revealed sub-standard care at Woodside Residential Care Home in Dover, with one person left regularly with dirty hands and another not receiving oral care for three days.
Staff also failed to respond to all call bells from residents and lacked vital training skills.
Now, for the second consecutive time, the care home has been rated as “requires improvement” for the shortfalls in safety and “inadequate” for leadership.
The facility in Whitfield Hill supports people living with dementia, learning disabilities, and autism.
But the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found residents were at an increased risk due to staff’s poor hygiene practices.
“We found some bedrooms smelt strongly of urine,” reads the report published on February 17.
“We were not assured that the provider was using PPE effectively or that the provider was promoting safety through the layout and hygiene practices of the premises
“A person’s relative told us ‘their (the person’s relatives) hands are always dirty’.
“We were not assured that the provider was supporting people to minimise the spread of infection.
“Some people’s rooms did not have soap and suitable hand-drying facilities to enable good hand hygiene.”
As well as failures to prevent and control infections, the watchdog also found serious issues regarding patient care and safety.
"We were not assured that the provider was supporting people to minimise the spread of infection..."
Inspectors observed several cases where residents had not had their basic care needs met for consecutive days.
“We checked one person’s care record and found they had not been shaved or received oral care for three consecutive days,” continued the report.
“We saw staff did not attend all call bell activations. People continued to be placed at risk of being ignored even when activating a call bell requesting assistance from staff.”
The centre, which at the time of the inspection was home to 31 people, was found to be staffed with carers who were lacking in basic training.
Only two out of 20 staff had completed training in fire safety, first aid, diabetes, mental health and learning disabilities, including autism and Asperger’s.
And watchdog officials found “staff were not able to identify and respond to different types of potential abuse”.
Even though carers said there were enough people employed to handle the workload, files reviewed by inspectors showed that hiring practices were potentially unsafe.
“We reviewed two staff files and neither evidenced a record of a full employment history,” inspectors wrote.
“References had not been sought from previous social care employers to evidence the staff’s previous conduct.
“Consequently, the provider could not be assured the staff were suitable to be employed to care for people.”
The CQC report also noted the “widespread and significant shortfalls in service leadership”.
"References had not been sought from previous social care employers to evidence the staff’s previous conduct..."
It said: “Leaders and the culture they created did not assure the delivery of high-quality care.”
Inspectors also found the service provider had failed to maintain accurate records, conduct risk assessments or manage staff effectively.
“The most recent staff meeting was held in May 2022”, it revealed, which was seven months before the inspection took place.
When asked to comment on the report, Heather Viggers, who was in charge of the care home at the time of the inspection said: “I don’t have time to talk to the local press”.
In an email to KentOnline, Ms Viggers said: “I am unable to respond to the questions you have raised due to a number of reasons that I am not at liberty to share with you.
“What I can share is that we recently held a families and friends survey and all responses were positive from every one, which was wonderful to see.
“We have a new manager in post together with a new deputy and they will work hard at supporting staff to ensure records are completed as required to evidence when care delivered - just because something wasn’t recorded doesn’t always mean that care wasn’t delivered.”