Watchdogs voice new safety fears at Wigan care home

Douglas Bank
Douglas Bank

A care home left a resident in wet clothing, failed to give another their tablets for almost a month and served “cold, congealed food”, watchdogs found.

Management of the Douglas Bank Nursing Home in Appley Bridge has been told it “requires improvements” after a Care Quality Commission visit.

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The Lees Lane establishment, previously in hot water for breaching health and social care regulations, has deteriorated since its last CQC check in September 2017.

The inspection team report reads: “We observed breakfast being served on the dementia care unit. Staff did not follow food safety standards. We saw them serve two people cold porridge and cold tea that had been left on the side for some time; the porridge looked congealed.

“We also saw staff use a microwave to heat other people’s breakfast and they did not check the temperature of food before it was served.

“This placed people at risk of being scalded.

“People told us ‘Food is diabolical, disgraceful,’ ‘Porridge is like rubber,’ ‘It was a bad dinner today.’

“They also told us ‘There aren’t enough staff; often X’s clothes are wet because there isn’t enough staff to help.’”

The inspectors were told that staffing levels would be reviewed and addressed.

Alarm was also expressed about medicine management after it was found one patient had not received their tablets for 29 days even though they were in stock and no written explanation as to why this was so.

Neither were medicines said to be stored safely. The fridge temperature was recorded daily but temperature deviations had not been reported to management nor the thermometer reset for seven months.

But the CQC did praise bosses for some improvements since the last visit.

“We saw that the provider had undertaken many areas of refurbishment, these included redecoration, resurfaced car park and new windows,” the team added.

“The provider and registered manager showed us future refurbishment plans and we noted improved standards of cleanliness and environment safety throughout.”

Inspectors have since asked the provider to send a report listing what action they are going to take.