‘Inadequate’ care home employing unvaccinated staff is placed in special measures

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The home cares for 28 residents with dementia

A Bedford care home, looking after 28 residents with dementia, has been given a rating of ‘inadequate’ following a visit from health inspectors.

Lillibet House on De Pary’s Avenue was found to be employing three unvaccinated staff who were all working in close contact with vulnerable people.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors made unannounced visits to the care home in November and December.  The inspections followed reports received by the CQC raising concerns over Covid-19 management.

Regulatory requirements state that anyone working in a CQC-registered care home must have had two Covid vaccines unless they can prove they are medically exempt.

Inspectors found that the three members of staff who had not had Covid vaccines were not medically exempt.

In addition, the report says: “We saw examples of potentially abusive care with how people were treated and supported in the home.”

One incident, detailed in the report, states that a member of staff was heard “shouting and swearing” at a resident that was “on the floor experiencing an incontinence issue.”

The member of staff had left the vulnerable person alone to get up off the floor and inspectors said they needed to ask additional staff to come and help.

In response, the CQC raised two safeguarding referrals with Bedford Borough Council, saying: “Staff needed more support to care for people in a safe and thoughtful way.

“Following situations when people living with dementia became distressed and who inadvertently harmed others, the registered manager and provider had not considered if there was enough staff or if these staff were in the right places at the right times, in order to support people, and to defuse situations when some people became distressed.”

Among its other concerns, the report described a “lack of a social, fun and happy atmosphere in the home”.

It said that residents were left “waiting around…with nothing to do all day”.

“Staff were often not present in the lounges and, when they were, they did not chat or try and do something interesting or fun with people,” concluded the report.

The CQC report also raised concerns about the levels of cleaning in the home and how cold some of the rooms were.

“When we brought [all] these issues to the registered manager, they told us they have started an investigation and had a meeting with staff,” said the report.

Reported on the BBC News website, Charlotte Chesyre, who runs the home, said: “Both my manager and I are extremely disappointed with the findings of the recent CQC inspection, particularly after the dedication and hard work of the staff team during the pandemic over the last two years.

“Our focus remains the safety and wellbeing of our extremely vulnerable residents and we are now working through an action plan with the support of the local authority to ensure that this continues and to address the concerns that have been raised, quickly and effectively.”

The Care Quality Commission has said it will reinspect Lillibet House within six months to check for “significant improvements.”

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