CQC investigates allegations of physical, psychological and emotional abuse at Manchester care home

Whistle-blowers have alleged physical, psychological and emotional abuse at a Manchester care home, forcing the Care Quality Commission to put the premises into special measures.

Seymour Care Home, located in Clayton just outside of Manchester City Centre, received an impromptu visit by the CQC at the end of October 2017 after two whistle-blowers raised serious concerns about the residents.

Following the inspection of the home, which provides residential care for 27 people – the vast majority of whom are living with dementia – the home was rated as ‘Inadequate’.

Manchester City Council has said it has suspended new admissions to the home as a result of the inspection, which was stinging in its criticism across the board.

“The home environment was not dementia-friendly, in that adjustments had not been made to help people living with the condition to maintain their independence and navigate around the home,” said the report, highlighting just one way the home failed to cater to its vulnerable residents.

The report raised concerns about the safety of the elderly residents which said that the provider failed to ensure that people were protected from abuse and improper treatment.

Prior to the inspection the CQC had received information of concerns relating to the unlawful use of restraint on people.

During the inspection evidence was found to support the allegations that an illegal restraint has been used in relation to a staff member who was dismissed in November 2016.

The report, which is available on the CQC website said: “The allegation made stated that the dismissed member of staff purposefully tied a person’s bedroom door closed with a dressing gown belt which was then attached to a bench located outside the person’s bedroom during the night.”

Concerns were also raised about how well cared for the residents were and said that for significant periods of the day people lacked interaction.

“We observed people being largely left to their own devices on the days of our inspection, which resulted in an escalation in anxiety levels, distress and social isolation,” the inspectors noted in their report.

One particular complaint from the family member of a resident expressed fears that her mother was not taking her medication as she should be.

Their comment said: “We found some tablets in a drawer. My mum had clearly spat them out and hidden them. We told staff to watch mum to make sure she swallows them.”

The inspection report also states that the privacy and dignity of people in receipt of end of life was not respected.

One part of the report made reference to a suggestion that a member of staff was showering and bathing people in a manner which was described as ‘like a conveyor belt.’

“It was alleged that the staff member was carrying out personal care in an inappropriate and undignified way as people were being lined up in a state of undress in front of each other both before and after having a shower.”

Seymour Care Home also breached Regulation 10 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 by using CCTV in the home without relevant guidelines.

By breaching these guidelines ‘people’s right to dignity and privacy were not maintained at the home’, said the report.

“The basic principles of equality, diversity, and human rights were not understood or embedded in the home.”

When contacted by MM, a spokesman for the home said: “We are fully committed to maintaining a high standard of care at all times and strive to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our residents.

“Since receiving the CQC inspection report, we have invested time and resources in implementing new procedures and policies and have sought expert independent advice with a view to further improving the care and service we provide.”

“As this matter is subject to ongoing proceedings with the CQC and Local Authority, we are unable to comment any further at this time.”

Councillor Bev Craig, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Adult Health and Wellbeing said: “Manchester City Council has suspended new admissions to the home and we are working with the owner and their staff on a number of service improvements.”

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