'Unexplained bruising' among major concerns at 'inadequate' care home
A damning inspection report has plunged a Colchester care home into special measures for the second time in a year, prompting questions over its future.
Crouched Friars Residential Home in Crouch Street, which provides personal care for up to 56 people aged 65 and over, is now rated "inadequate" again - just months after being lifted out of special measures in February with a rating of "requires improvement".
Care Quality Commission experts published their findings this week following an unannounced visit to the home in July.
It is the second time the home has been placed in special measures in a 12-month period - the first "inadequate" rating was given in August 2018.
Care home director Dave Rai said he wants to reassure families and residents that there is no intention to close Crouched Friars on their part. He also apologised that the facility, which also cares for people with dementia, "fell far short of the high levels of care we pride ourselves on delivering".
CQC bosses said enforcement action was under way - but the organisation cannot yet publish the actions it is taking, due to the "representation and appeals process".
Concerns raised by inspectors, who rated the home "inadequate" in all areas, included:
- Staff shortages, with some unable to speak adequate English
- People were not safe, and were at risk of avoidable harm
- Body maps in nine care records showed people had developed 'unexplained bruising'
- Some night staff did not have safeguarding training
- There was evidence of a person being effectively 'dragged' from a wheelchair, with the resident heard saying: "I don't like it, they made me do it"
- One person was witnessed sleeping on a mattress on the floor, despite being at a high risk of developing pressure ulcers
- Cobwebs and spiders were found in communal areas, and the premises was not clean or properly used
- People were left in an unhygienic and undignified manner
At the time of the inspection, 42 people were living at the service.
Assessors wrote: "People were at risk of harm due to the registered manager and provider's failure to identify, assess, manage and mitigate risk. This included putting people at risk of abuse, and receiving unsafe care.
"Risks to people were not always identified appropriately, with actions put in place to mitigate the risks."
What did the home's manager have to say?
Mr Rai, director of Crouched Friars, said: "I would like to reassure everyone that there is no intention to close Crouched Friars on our part, nor the CQC or local authority, as we are all committed to working together to improve the home going forward.
"I can only apologise that Crouched Friars fell far short of the high levels of care that we pride ourselves on delivering."
What happens now?
As the overall rating for the service is "inadequate", Crouched Friars is therefore in special measures.
This means it will be kept under review by inspectors, and if the CQC does not propose to cancel the provider's registration, it will reinspect within six months to check for significant improvements.
If it has not made enough improvement within this time frame, the home could close.
CQC inspectors will meet with the provider to discuss how they will make changes to improve their rating, and will work with the local authority, Essex County Council (ECC), to monitor progress.
An ECC spokesman said: "We are aware of the recent CQC report relating to Crouched Friars Residential Home and are working closely with the home's owner and management team to oversee that the necessary improvements are made.
"The safety and wellbeing of all residents in our care is of paramount importance and our priority."