‘Oh stop buzzing’: Oldham care home that took bells from residents ‘inadequate’

A nursing home in Oldham, in which residents had buzzers used to request assistance taken away from them by staff, has been placed into special measures by the CQC.

A staff member at Avalon Park Nursing Home in Oldham shouted to residents to stop using the buzzers during the inspection, and then laughed it off when confronted.

In a report published this week, the CQC branded the care home as inadequate, the worst rating, overall and in five of the six categories as it identified 11 separate breaches of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 during a three day inspection in early November 2015.

The CQC inspectors found that there were no emergency call bells connected in either lounge of the home, which meant that the 60 residents were unable to contact staff in an emergency.

“We observed in both lounges that the call bell was not connected therefore people were unable to call for assistance,” the inspector stated in his report.

“One person said that some people shout out to raise an alarm to staff nearby. They told us there were rarely staff in the lounge and we saw this to be the case during the inspection.

“We asked staff how residents called for attention if there was no call bell; a care staff member told us ‘usually one person will shout them’.

“One person told us ‘I have never seen a buzzer in the lounge, one night they moved my buzzer out of the way so I couldn’t buzz’.

“We heard one care staff say loudly ‘oh stop buzzing’ and then laugh when questioned by the member of the inspection team.”

Avalon Park’s policy with regards to buzzers and emergency call bells breached regulation nine of the Health and Social Care Act.

Although most residents praised the quality of the food, inspectors found that the cleaning records of the kitchen areas had been falsified and filled out using the same name for 30 consecutive days.

Elsewhere, the inspectors found the door code for the treatment room written on the outside so that any resident, relative or staff member could access it.

The room itself evidenced poor standards of hygiene with discarded capsules, a dirty floor and an uncovered, overflowing sharp objects storage area container.

Inspectors also noted a foul-smelling odour throughout areas of the home during the entirety of their visit and that furniture was in need of deep-cleaning.

Despite residents and relatives stating that several concerns being raised previously, the registered manager was unaware of any complaints made against staff behaviour but has pledged to investigate.

Following the visit the CQC has told the care provider to take a series of actions to comply with the law and also enacted several enforcement actions, with action required by June.

Avalon Park were unavailable for comment.

Image courtesy of Google Maps, with thanks

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