Stockport care home found guilty of ‘depriving people of their liberty illegally’ by damning CQC report

A Stockport care home has been found guilty of illegally depriving people of their liberty by the CQC after an inspection highlighted various failings.

Marple Lodge Care Home, in Marple North, Stockport, failed to carry out clinical assessments denying some residents their freedom.

The home was rated as inadequate overall and in three out of five categories by the CQC, with 10 breaches of the Health and Social Care Act according to last month’s report.

“The provider had applied for Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards authorisations, which the local authority had granted,” read the report.

“However, we found three we looked at had expired. This meant the provider was depriving people of their liberty illegally.

“A mental capacity assessment is required to determine whether a person may be subject to a deprivation of their liberty. This had not been done. There was no central system to monitor the expiry of applications.”

This breached the Mental Capacity Act (2005) which states that any restrictions imposed on an individual in care is both appropriate and in their best interests.

Liberty-restricting measures are often applied to individuals with conditions such as dementia.

The report did however state that the service is caring and that staff working there were kind and patient people.

Many of the issues appear to have been procedural failings regarding leadership and safety.

The report went on to highlight poor staff training, stating: “Staff we spoke with told us they had not had any training in the last 12 months, which meant all their mandatory training was out of date.”

In three of the six bedrooms the CQC looked at, the nurse call system cord was missing and in one case the person’s bed was at the opposite end of the room to where the cord would have been.

This meant people were unable to call for assistance if they needed it.

The registered manager had not carried out checks to ensure the competency of staff to administer medication,” the report added.

“One person had allergies to certain medication, which staff had not documented on their MAR’s [Medical Administration Record], which meant they could be administered medication which could cause them harm.”

The report went on to say that some areas of the building were not safe and that some windows above ground level could be fully opened wide enough for people to either fall or climb out.

Staff and people who used the service were also at risk of injury because of damaged furniture including a sharp screw protruding from a chest of drawers.

Malcolm Allan, Liberal Democrat Councillor for the ward, said: “We’re very concerned about the catalogue of failings contained in the report by the Quality Care Commission on this privately run care home.

“We hope the home acts swiftly to fulfil the recommendations in the report.”

The CQC has implemented enforcement actions as a result of the inspection including a fixed penalty notice and several warning notices. 

The home will also be re-inspected within six months to ensure that it has made significant improvements.

If it has not met the required standards within this time then the CQC may take steps to prevent it from operating the service.

Carol Barker, manager of the care home, said: “The majority of it has been sorted.

“We are working through the rest which is mainly around documentation and staff training.

“We can’t possibly do it all at once though so staff training is an ongoing thing.”

The care home is registered as under the ownership of Mr Robert Stokes and has capacity for up to 19 adults with 16 people residing there at the time of the inspection. 

Image courtesy of Google Maps, with thanks.

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