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Care home in special measures as death of user investigated

By Dayna Farrington | Tipton | News | Published:

A care home for people with learning disabilities has been placed in special measures.

Oak House, in Johns Lane. Photo: Google Maps

The move follows an inspection that was prompted by the death of a service user, which is also being investigated.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated Oak House, in Johns Lane, Tipton inadequate overall after they visited in May and June.

The care home – which provides personal and nursing care to people who may have learning disabilities or care needs relating to mental health – was rated inadequate in two categories of safety and management.

It was rated requires improvement in effectiveness, care and responsiveness.

The home, which is run by Camino Healthcare, had previously been rated as good overall in November 2017.

In the report, the CQC said the inspection had been prompted by a “specific incident in which a person using the service died”.

They added that the incident was currently subject of a separate investigation and that the inspection did not examine the circumstances.

'Allegations not investigated'

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However the report said: “People had not been safeguarded from abuse.

"Where people had made serious allegations of abuse against others, these had not been investigated or referred to local authority safeguarding teams.

"We found incident records that evidenced people had access to illegal drugs within the service and had also made allegations of sexual assaults. None of these had been reported or investigated.

"We raised these allegations with the interim management team. They were not always aware that allegations of abuse had been made and had not taken action to safeguard people.

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"Risks to people's safety had not been assessed. During the first two days of inspection, we identified a number of key risks to people that had not been assessed or recorded within care records.

"This included risk of self-harm. For example, incident records showed that a person had recently self-harmed and attempted suffocation. There was no record of this within the person's care records identifying how staff should support the person to remain safe.

"One person told us that staff did not always respond to incidents in a timely way to ensure their safety. The person told us about an incident where they had been assaulted by another person and explained, "The member of staff was useless, they should have stopped it before it got that far".

"Staff we spoke with also felt unprepared to handle incidents. One member of staff told us, 'We aren't trained in restraint so when someone is being disruptive, there is nothing we can do. We are trained in low arousal but that does not reflect the people we have here and does nothing for them'.

"This meant that staff were not trained or skilled in ensuring people's safety where incidents occurred that left people at risk of harm."

Camino Healthcare has been approached for comment.

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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