Care home ‘not fit for purpose’ blasted by inspectors

News story
News story

INSPECTORS have blasted a Wigan care home where residents could just wander about and rooms were dirty and “not fit for purpose”.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) staff visited Norfolk House in Springfield and found a litany of serious problems, including hygiene issues, poor-quality food and lack of privacy and dignity.

People wander about here, they go in all the rooms, office, kitchen; they come out of the kitchen with all sorts of things in their hands. Do I feel safe? No. It’s a good job I can look after myself

Residents could simply walk out the back of the care home and could also wander into the kitchen and hurt themselves on sharp objects which were left lying about.

Inspectors also heard of shocking incidents in which one resident left the home and was found by police suffering from hypothermia and another person went missing for around an hour and 45 minutes.

A scathing report found the privately-owned Norfolk Street home in breach of five health and social care regulations and requiring urgent improvements to all five of the CQC’s main questions about service quality.

The report said: “We found five breaches related to safety and suitability of premises, meeting nutritional needs, cleanliness and infection control, respecting and involving people who use services and receiving and acting on complaints.

“The back was not secure and people who used the service may be able to leave the building, unseen by staff, by that route. Meals supplied by the home were of poor quality and we saw little food on the premises on the day of the inspection.

“Three of the toilets for people who use the service did not contain any liquid soap or paper towels, putting people at risk of infection.

“The environment was in need of some refurbishment and provided little stimulation for people living with dementia. Some areas, for example the conservatory, were not fit for purpose.”

The unannounced inspection carried out in January found a huge list of things which the inspectors said were unacceptable or unsatisfactory.

The inspectors saved some of their harshest criticisms for the conservatory, which was freezing cold, full of clutter and containing old chairs with no cushions.

The building was not clean, with large cobwebs left for months, dirty window frames and bare walls with hooks and marks left where pictures had once hung.

Inspectors also raised serious safety concerns about the access, saying both outside lights at the front were broken when they visited leaving the entrance in darkness, and the unsecured premises.

One residents told the inspection team: “People wander about here, they go in all the rooms, office, kitchen; they come out of the kitchen with all sorts of things in their hands.

“Do I feel safe? No. It’s a good job I can look after myself.”

Residents were frequently offered only sandwiches at weekends and the selection of food was limited and often unhealthy.

Although the inspectors praised some of the care, they also saw staff fail to give residents dignity or privacy when visiting the toilet or bathroom.

The Wigan Observer made several attempts to contact Norfolk House’s owner Premila Jingree but she was unavailable for comment.