Scandal of care firm

A DAMNING report into the care of patients at a Halifax nursing home has been released.

The Care Quality Commission visited Heath Bank Nursing Home and found a catalogue of incidents putting vulnerable residents at risk.

Inspectors from the agency, who regulate care homes, found mistakes over giving medication, dirty bed linen and one resident who was left severely dehydrated after a lack of fluids for 20 hours.

They looked at 16 areas during their February inspection at the home, on Linden Road, they have found six which raise a “major concern”. They include:

* Residents who need a soft diet were given normal food.

* Patients on the dementia unit were not given breakfast until 10.50am. They also found there was a three-hour delay on prescribing medication and no drinks given out by morning staff.

* One person was left with “very poor levels of hydration” for 20 hours.

* Resident who should have been given medication at 8pm was given it at 9am.

* Confusion over medication: Paracetemol was listed as out of stock on four separate days but patients notes said they had been given it

* Lack of training to deal with dementia patients

On the day inspectors visited, they found one nurse and one care assistant looking after four patients with high dependancy needs. Patients were missing out on getting the fluids, nutrition and support to go to the toilet, that they needed.

They found one bed was made with dirty bed clothes and carpets and furniture were not clean.

The report says: “They demonstrated to us a lack of knowledge and understanding of the care needs of people living with dementia.”

Three areas raised moderate concerns and two have minor concerns.

Minor concerns including cleanliness and infection control after two different visitors complained about the “very unpleasant smell of urine” in the lounge area.

Moderate concerns include the dignity of patients not being met and lack of understanding about dealing with dementia patients.

In January the Courier learned five nurses were suspended. Admissions were temporarily suspended by Calderdale Council and NHS Calderdale - those suspensions remain in place.

“Calderdale Council and NHS Calderdale have been working closely with the home to make sure all clients receive safe and effective care. We have also been talking to the residents and their families to look at the options available to them for the provision of their care.”

The home, which has 47 patients and an eight bed dementia unit, was found to be compliant in five areas.

The Quality Care Commission have issued three improvement actions, which mean more should be done to maintain standards, and nine compliance actions where actions must be taken.

A spokesperson for the Care Quality Commission said: “We’re working with Calderdale Council to make sure that the safety and welfare of people at the home is being met.” Since the February visit, a further unannounced visit had taken place. It is not known when the following report will be published.