Heysham care home comes under fire after inspection finds residents 'at risk' of Covid in 'unhygienic' building

A care home in Heysham has been criticised for failing to protect residents from the risk of Covid-19 and other infections.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 3:45 pm
Fairways Residential Home in Heysham. Photo: Google Street View

Fairways Residential Home was given a 'Requires Improvement' rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) earlier this month, following an inspection in February.

Inspectors found residents were not being protected from the risks of Covid-19 and other infectious diseases, because effective control measures were not in place to mitigate the risks.

Staff were not complying with the use of Personal Protective Equipment in line with national guidance.

Some parts of the home were unhygienic and needed deep cleaning or repair. Pieces of equipment or fittings such as radiators and a bath hoist were seen to be damaged, dirty or dusty

Medicines were not always stored and managed safely, and people were exposed to risk of harm as a result.

Inspectors also found several staff members had not undergone full background checks before being employed.

When it came to the safety of patients, the CQC rated the home as 'Inadequate', claiming that patients were at risk of harm and, in some cases, of being "unlawfully restrained."

The report said: "We were not assured the infection prevention and control practises in the home were satisfactory.

"Infection control practices and the management of infected clinical waste in relation to the pandemic and Covid-19 were not being followed in line with government guidance or the homes infection control policy.

"This exposed people to potential risks of avoidable harm."

In addition, some accidents and incidents within the home which had resulted in harm had not been always been adequately managed or escalated in line with the local authority safeguarding procedures and the registration requirements to notify the CQC.

Failing to recognise or report serious incidents put people at risk of receiving unsafe care and treatment.

Where specific equipment was in use the risks associated with their use was not always managed in line with current national health and safety guidance.

Systems in place were also not effective enough to support the safe management and administration of medicines.

Inspectors also found that processes and systems in place to oversee, assess and monitor the safety and quality of service provided were not effective.

Recruitment practices adopted by the home were not robust. New staff had not been thoroughly checked prior to employment commencing, which meant staff were not checked as being suitable before working with vulnerable people.

Fairways, in Westmoor Grove in Heysham, provides support and living accommodation for up to 24 elderly people with dementia.

There were 22 people living at the home at the time of the unannounced CQC inspection on February 16.

The inspection was prompted in part due to concerns received about a specific incident resulting in an injury.

However, inspectors said they did observe people being treated with kindness and compassion.

Interactions by staff with people were seen to be in a respectful and caring manner, and one resident said they were very happy and said of the management and staff, “I love all of them so much.”

Relatives spoke very positively about the care provided. One family member told inspectors “I feel mum is safe here" and also "It’s homely and more like a family, there’s a warmth to the place.”

Another relative said: “The home has been very good at communicating with us throughout Covid. The manager is always available to talk to.”

Fairways had been rated 'Good' at its last inspection in 2018.

And in the latest report, the home was rated as 'Good' in areas of effectiveness, caring and responsiveness.

However, it was rated as 'Inadequate' when inspected for safety, and 'Requires Improvement' for how well-led the service is.

Its overall rating was 'Requires Improvement'.