CQC Says Kent Care Home Must Improve

Inspectors Found a Number Of Failings At Elliott House

23.12.2013

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has taken enforcement action after an unannounced inspection of Elliott House in October.

Investigations revealed people were not allowed to make choices about their care - something that the CQC has been attempting to push providers to make part of their strategy in recent years.

Complaints against the nursing home sector previously highlighted the lack of patient involvement in the construction and implementation of care plans but Elliott House was found to be lacking in this regard.

Staffing issues were also put under the spotlight in a CQC report, as the provider did not have enough personnel at any one time to ensure each person was safe and many residents' needs were not met in a consistent or timely manner.

However, potentially the greatest failing discovered by the CQC was that the building was not clean and there were "strong odours" in some areas.

Infection control is regarded as a top priority for care homes but Elliott House was found not to have properly dealt with this issue, with basic measures like a cleaning rota for toilets not put in place.

One part of the inspection report contained a particularly troublesome revelation: "We viewed the laundry room where all the laundry for the service was done.

"There was a strong smell of urine in this area. We saw that bags of dirty and soiled laundry waiting to be washed were stored next to clean laundry ready to be returned to people. The service did not operate an effective system to prevent the risk of cross contamination."

Bosses at the care home have now been told they must provide a report on how they will improve their services in the coming year or face sanctions that could potentially include fines and closure.

The deadline for the submission of this document was December 7th, but is not clear if this was met by executives.

Expert Opinion
Following the CQC’s inspection, it is worrying that they had not been complying with the strict guidelines in terms of hygiene and infection control and therefore potentially putting patients at serious risk. Urgent action is required in this case to ensure that facilities are brought up to standard as patient safety should be the number one concern.

“Elderly people deserve to have access to the highest standard of care, that considers their respect and dignity at all times. It shouldn’t have to take inspections for care homes and healthcare providers to ensure care is of the highest standards.”
Lisa Jordan, Partner