Health watchdog puts Brighouse care home in special measures with residents at risk of malnutrition

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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has placed Bridge House Care Home in Brighouse, in special measures and told them to make urgent improvements following an inspection in August and September.

The CQC carried out this unannounced focused inspection after receiving concerns about safeguarding and the quality of care being provided to people, as well as complaints from relatives about the management of the service.

Following the inspection, Bridge House Care Home has been rated inadequate overall and inadequate for being safe and well-led. It is rated requires improvement for being caring. It was previously rated requires improvement overall. The service has now been placed in special measures.

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Sheila Grant, CQC’s head of inspection for adult social care said: “When we inspected Bridge House Care Home, we were concerned that not enough improvements had been made since our previous inspection in 2019 and it was very concerning that people’s basic needs such as regular access to food and drink weren’t being met.

The Care Quality Commission carried out the inspection at Bridge House Care HomeThe Care Quality Commission carried out the inspection at Bridge House Care Home
The Care Quality Commission carried out the inspection at Bridge House Care Home

Inspectors found evidence that people were consistently losing weight and no action was being taken to address this. Even though one person had lost over 9kg in weight and others were in a similar position, records showed they hadn’t eaten much and weren’t being offered snacks or appropriate meals to manage their weight. This puts people at significant risk of malnutrition, and everyone should expect that their basic needs are met.

“We found that not all staff had received up to date safeguarding training. Someone had sustained a serious injury to their arm after an unwitnessed argument with another person living at the home. There wasn’t any evidence that a health care professional had been involved, and care plans and risk assessments had not been put in place to safeguard the person. This lack of good process puts vulnerable people at serious risk of further harm.

“People’s privacy and dignity wasn’t respected at Bridge House. On many occasions, we saw people going into the bedrooms of others and lying on their beds. There was a culture where this was normal, but people living at Bridge House deserve the same respect and dignity as everyone else.

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“Following the inspection, the provider has significantly increased their oversight of the service. Including appointing a suitably qualified pharmacist to oversee medicines management and an additional full-time clinical lead nurse.

“We have told the provider what further improvements are required to keep people safe and we will continue to monitor them to make sure people are receiving the best possible care. If we’re not satisfied that our concerns have been addressed, we will not hesitate to take further action.”

Bridge House is a residential care home providing personal and nursing care for up to 66 older people. At the time of the inspection there were 65 people living at the home.

Inspectors found the following issues at the service:

People were not safe. They were at risk of harm as the provider had not assessed and mitigated the risks to people. Medicines were not managed safely. There were multiple instances when people had not been given their prescribed medicine.

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There were not enough staff to keep people safe. Staff were kind and caring but they were rushed, and routines were often task orientated. People were regularly left on their own for long periods of time and there were limited opportunities for meaningful social interactions. Staff were not always able to respond quickly where people needed care, support or comfort. People were not always protected from abuse or neglect.

People had not been protected from the spread of infection because robust systems and processes were not in place.

The home was not well-led. Systems to assess, monitor and improve the service were not effective. Governance systems were ineffective, and the provider did not have oversight of key safety issues.

However the service was praised as people and relatives were generally positive about the staff who cared for them and their experiences of the service.

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The CQC also said the home was well maintained and the living environment was attractive and spacious and incorporated open communal spaces and leisure facilities such as a roof top garden, cinema room and hair dressing salon.

The provider was also responsive to inspection findings and responded and acted during and after the inspection and shared detailed plans to improve their systems and processes.

A spokesperson for the care home provider said: “The CQC report is naturally a disappointment for us all at Bridge House Care Home. However, prior to publication of the report we have already made significant progress in the areas needing improvement.

"We quickly identified a lack of trust and confidence in the then management of Bridge House and acted swiftly to bring in a Senior Management Specialist and a team of 2 Care Home Managers to work with our dedicated staff team in making these improvements.

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"Bridge House has received fantastic support in our efforts so far from Calderdale CCG and Calderdale Local Authority and we would like to publicly thank them for this. Equally our staff team, the residents and families have been fastidious in their support for our improvements.

"We must accept the report from CQC but we do so confident in the improvements made to date and coming in the future given the wealth of experience, support and knowledge now in place at Bridge House.”

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