'Visit and see for yourselves' say nursing home bosses after damning review
PUBLISHED: 19:00 21 October 2019 | UPDATED: 20:01 21 October 2019
Staff at a nursing home in Kesgrave, recently rated 'inadequate' by a health watchdog, have taken the unusual step to invite people in - and see conditions for themselves.
Earlier this month, it emerged Oakwood House Residential and Nursing Home, in Stollery Close, had been put in special measures after the Care Quality Commission paid a visit this summer.
Inspectors raised a series of concerns, from dirty floors and toilets to an incident where a resident had attempted to clean his teeth with a razor. They gave the nursing home - which specialises in mental health nursing - six months to turn things around.
Now bosses are inviting people living nearby to go and visit the home, in Grange Farm, to see what conditions are like for themselves.
It comes as concerned families raised further fears about the safety of the home.
One person, who did not want to be named, claims staff are having to resort to buying extra food from the nearby Tesco - out of their own pockets - as there is not enough at the home.
Another said the rooms "look like jails" without pictures and with shabby furniture, carers are "rushed off their feet" and the home is short staffed, and another relative claimed some windows don't shut, so families are concerned about their loved ones' safety.
A spokesman from De Vere Care Ltd, which runs the service, said bosses want the general public to see what the nursing home is like for themselves.
People wanting to do so can call the team on 01473 840890.
'Very unfortunate 10 months'
The spokesman, who said the team had become aware of the growing number of concerns at Oakwood, added: "It has been a very unfortunate 10 months, with the availability of experienced staff in such a specialist field of mental health nursing in the community.
"We have a very strong caring and nursing team at Oakwood House, who have continuously supported De Vere Care and provided strong quality care.
"The length of hours is dependent on an ability to be able to manage time effectivity.
"If the home was ever short of staff, we have the support of several agencies to send in extra staff.
He also said residents' families are regularly invited in for meetings, and the home does regularly hold activities - inviting families to join in.
'Razor blade incident was prevented'
According to bosses, many families have seen "immense change" in the way the service is being led and managed, with the support of the directors.
One relative, whose family member has been a resident at Oakwood for more than nine years, said De Vere Care Ltd and the team at Oakwood are working "very diligently" together to bring the home back to where it should be.
Regarding the razor blade incident, the spokesman said: "The incident regarding the razor blade was prevented and reported to managers for investigation.
"Due to the unrestrictive nature of the home, a resident had wandered into another room, where he had only entered and was intending to use a razor blade, this was immediately spotted by the carer and reported."
The nursing home has undergone an improvement programme over the summer, since the inspection - with further improvements planned over the next 12 months, he added.