"Inadequate" home placed in special measures

Woodlands Court
Woodlands Court

Soiled mattresses, dining tables covered in grease and residents left with faecal matter under their fingernails has led to a Wigan care home being placed in special measures.

Two residents at Woodlands Court, in New Springs, also had unexplained bruising, according to inspectors from the Care Quality Commission.

Their review has seen the Ash Lane home being branded ‘inadequate’, after a June visit raised several serious concerns.

Home bosses say a new manager has been appointed and a raft of newly-trained staff have been drafted in at the complex, part of the national Minster Care chain.

Under their new rating, the CQC will be looking for major improvements, with the ultimate sanction being the removal of Woodlands’ registration.

A previous inspection, in 2015, had raised no concerns, says the watchdog.

Currently 34 out of the 40 places at the home, which caters for people who require assistance with their personal care and support.

An inspector said: “We observed that the standard of cleanliness within the service was poor. We found soiled mattresses and divan beds in some people’s rooms which people were sleeping in.”

And when the inspectors moved around the home they found dirty carpets, ripped cushion and “malodour” in certain parts of the building.

In the dining room the table cloths and mats were “sticky with grease” and walking trolleys and slippers were also found to be dirty.

Relatives of residents also complained that elderly people had been left “unkempt”, with dirty fingernails.

The inspector added: “We saw two people who had faecal matter in their finger nails.

“A relative of one of these people told us: ‘Look, the staff don’t have time for the little important things, look at their finger nails’, as they

pointed to the faecal matter.”

Other concerns highlighted with one or more residents included the administration of medicines, prevention from falls and provisions of ‘soft’ diets for those with swallowing difficulties.

As a result of their visit, inspectors recorded five regulatory breaches, which must be rectified, covering care needs, safeguarding from abuse, treating residents with dignity and respect, protection from infection and a lack of suitably trained staff.

A Woodlands spokesman said: “Immediate action was taken to address all of the shortcomings identified within the CQC’s report following its visit in June.

“A new manager has been appointed and they have been working closely with our regional management team to improve procedures, the standard of care provided, and the physical environment of the home.

“Staff numbers have been increased and all new and existing staff have undergone rigorous training. Many furnishings have been replaced and a number of rooms have been completely refurbished.

“We have had constant dialogue with residents and their families, and we are pleased to report that their feedback points to noticible improvement.

“The CQC has been informed of the actions we have taken and we look forward to welcoming inspectors back in the near future.”