‘A state of disrepair’: ‘Dirty’ and ‘unsafe’ Old Trafford care home slammed by CQC

A care home for people with mental health issues has been slammed by officials for using an unsafe gas cooker, not cleaning properly and having under-trained staff.

Clifton House, Old Trafford, received an ‘inadequate’ rating from health and social care regulator the Care Quality Commission.

Inspectors unearthed a number of serious problems at the care home, which provides residential services for up to 32 individuals with severe, long-term mental illnesses and problems such as drug and alcohol dependency.

The home could now face closure if improvements are not made within the next six months.

“Parts of the home were in a state of disrepair such that they could not be cleaned effectively which could put the people at risk of cross infection,” said the inspector.

A gas cooker was found to be still in use despite being judged ‘unsafe’ by a gas engineer nearly three months earlier.

“We also saw that a vent above the cooker opened into a loft upstairs,” said the inspector.

“This loft area was dirty and the cook told us that dust sometimes dropped down into food when it was on the hob.”

Other health care breaches included stained baths, grease on the ceilings and a build-up of food in gaps between appliances.

There was also no hand-washing sink for residents in the laundry room.                                     

Clifton House is owned by London-based national mental healthcare provider Deepdene Care.

The company’s website boasts ‘modern’ facilities and a ‘highly skilled multi-discipline team’.

The website states: “Clifton House provides a particularly high level of support to its service users, who are encouraged to focus on their recovery through the provision of individually tailored care plans that are outcome based.”

However, January’s CQC’s inspection revealed major concern regarding staff training, record keeping, and the registered manager’s failure to report incidents.

One unreported incident involved the use of restraint by an untrained staff member in November 2015, even though the home applies a ‘no restraint’ policy.

Damningly, out of 18 regular support workers only three had received personal safety and breakaway training since 2013, and 10 members of support staff had never received this training.

The CQC noted there is insufficient staff to support activities and re-enablement – a direct clash with the primary purpose of the home.

“People’s access to activities was restricted,” said the inspector.

“We found that people did not have care plans in place for all of their identified needs, for example, learning disabilities and continence.”

A spokesperson for Deepdene Care told MM the inspection occurred during a ‘transitional period’ for the home, and they are currently trialing a new recovery team alongside plans for major renovations and a new auditing system later this year

“We acknowledge that there are aspects to our Clifton House service, highlighted by the CQC report, which need to be looked at, and we have already made – and are continuing to make – changes to improve the service in accordance with CQC’s findings to once again meet regulation,” said a spokesperson.

“Evidence of our initial changes is documented in the CQC report.

“Steps are being taken to ensure the manager – who by his own admission to CQC had focused more on passionately supporting service users than on administrative tasks – has a better handle on the administrative aspects involved in running the service.”

Three other establishments run by Deepdene Care have been rated ‘requires improvement’ on their most recent CQC inspections.

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