The Mellows Care Home Told To Improve

Care Home Criticised By The CQC For Infection Control Failures.

18.02.2014

The Mellows Care Home has been told that it must improve by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after a number of failures were identified in an inspection this January.

Investigations by the CQC revealed that cleanliness and infection control - a key benchmark - were not up to scratch, leaving elderly residents at the site vulnerable and at greater risk of illness.

Although improvements had been made over previous inspections, when foul stenches had been identified by staff, processes were not in place to make sure that the site was kept clean.

For example, guidance had not been made clear on the use of mops and buckets, which meant that people could not be kept safe from developing infections, as the implement could have previously been used to disinfect a contaminated area.

"We found that the overall levels of cleanliness in some parts of the older part of the building, although improved since our last visit, were still unsatisfactory. We saw that a shared toilet and shower room were both very dirty," the CQC said.

"The shower was heavily scaled and the corners of the flooring contained a build-up of grime. There was also an unpleasant odour in both the toilet and the shower."

Record-keeping was also highlighted as an area that needs to be improved, as care plans were "both contradictory and incorrect" in some places.

For example, two people were not able to walk independently, but their documentation showed they only had minor issues in this regard.

In another case it was recorded that a patient had broken skin at "grade 2-4". There was no explanation about what this meant or where the cut was, while no resolution was noted down either.

The CQC has decided not to take enforcement action against the care home, as it has improved dramatically in recent months, but has still asked bosses to send a report outlining how they will meet the standards expected of them.

Expert Opinion
Following the CQC’s inspection, it is extremely worrying that they had not been complying with the strict guidelines in terms of cleanliness and infection control which puts patients at high risk of illness.

“News that they are improving has led to the home avoiding enforcement action but it is important that their recent efforts are maintained as the CQC still requires a report outlining how they will continue to the meet the standards.

“This is a situation we are unfortunately too familiar with as we act on behalf of many vulnerable patients and their families whose care has been substandard as a result of similar failings. Elderly people deserve to have access to the highest standard of care and it shouldn’t have to take inspections for care homes and healthcare providers to ensure the protection of such vulnerable residents.”
Mandy Luckman, Partner