Morecambe care home boss hits back at CQC findings after 'requires improvement' rating
The owner of Mayfair Residential Home says he is "extremely proud of his staff" and admits action has since been taken after CQC officials highlighted concerns surrounding fire safety measures.
Officers from the Care Quality Commission undertook unannounced inspections at the popular home, which sits on the Morecambe seafront, and ordered several immediate changes to their fire safety measures.
The inspections took place on June 3rd, 4th, 10th, 14th and 17th.
The report from the regulator stated: "On the first day of the inspection, we were made aware that during refurbishment works, at least nine fire doors had been removed from their casings.
"In addition, ongoing maintenance of the building had resulted in holes in floors and ceilings which had not been addressed. This had resulted in multiple breaches of compartmentation. Compartmentation within buildings prevents the spread of fire, smoke and toxic gases and divides buildings into manageable areas of risk. In addition, it provides adequate means of escape enabling time for people to safely evacuate the home.
"Due to compartmentation being breached, the fire evacuation plan for the home was no longer adequate and sufficient. This meant that in the event of a fire all people needed to be evacuated from the building down external fire escapes. Not all the people who lived at the home could mobilise without assistance and would require equipment to evacuate. Whilst equipment was available to support people to evacuate, we were not fully assured this had been considered and risk assessed to ensure people could be safely evacuated. The fire risk assessment had not been reviewed and updated to take into consideration the breaches to compartmentation."
The family-run business had 29 residents at the time of the inspection, but has room for up to 45 people across the three-storey building.
The report went onto state: "We found no evidence that people had been harmed, however, risk was not always identified and acted upon in a timely manner. Following the first day of inspection and subsequent visits, we saw evidence of the registered provider acting and responding to risk. Action was taken to reduce the risk within the building. Fire doors were replaced. We received confirmation that the fitting of window restrictors had started to take place and was being treated as a priority"
The CQC gave Mayfair a requires improvement rating with an inadequate rating for safety.
Failings surrounding staff fire training were also criticized. The report added: "We looked at evacuation processes and staff training to ensure staff had the appropriate skills to support people in the event of an emergency. On the first day of inspection, we reviewed staff training records and saw not all staff had the required skills and training to prepare them in the event of a fire.
"Records maintained by the provider demonstrated that 17 staff had not received fire safety awareness training and three staff had not had any fire training at all. On the first day of inspection, we asked staff if they would feel confident in dealing with a fire. Two staff told us they wouldn't feel confident if a fire broke out in the home."
Responding to the findings, Managing Director Mr Tony Prada, who has run Mayfair Residential Home for almost four decades, said it had been a "difficult and trying year" for everyone due to the coronavirus pandemic and updated fire training was scheduled to take place once restrictions were lifted.
He explained: "I acknowledge the recommendations made by the fire service, but do not agree with the rating imposed on us by CQC. Throughout this difficult period as the report clearly indicates renovation works were ongoing at the time of the inspections, but like many other businesses we had encountered issues in sourcing the contractors to complete the works and they in turn had their own difficulties in securing the materials to complete the works in a timely fashion.
"Updated training was scheduled to take place once the works were complete and with the lifting of restrictions we were able to satisfy the appropriate authorities the necessary steps had been taken. Despite countless difficulties, I am extremely proud of the home and my staff for the care they have given to the residents and their families throughout the pandemic and of course the safety, welfare and happiness of the residents is and always has been our absolute priority."