One in three nursing homes 'failing on safety'

One in three nursing homes are failing on safety, the care regulator has found.

Inspectors saw residents being washed and dressed and then put back to bed to make it easier for staff.

Other residents did not get enough to eat or were not helped to go to the toilet in time.

Andrea Sutcliffe, chief inspector of adult social care at the Care Quality Commission, said it was "completely and utterly unacceptable" in the modern age.

"These are things you do not want to be happening to your loved one or mum," she added.

More than 21,000 adult social care services in England were rated by the CQC, including 4,000 nursing homes.

While most services are good and should be praised, Ms Sutcliffe said "nursing homes continue to be the worry area" - with only 67% rated good.

She said "many of these homes are struggling to retain and recruit good quality nursing staff and this has an impact on their ability to provide good services".

Just over 1,800 services rated as good previously have now been re-inspected.

Of these, a quarter have deteriorated from good, including 5% that are now rated as inadequate.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said care in nursing homes was "a bit like playing Russian roulette."

Some examples of poor care reported by the CQC included:

  • St Anne's Community Services, Leeds

St Anne's Community Service in Leeds was successfully prosecuted by the CQC in June 2016 following the death of 62-year-old Kevin McNally.

Mr McNally broke his neck in a fall from a shower chair at a nursing home in Smithies Moor Lane, Birstall, in April 2015.

Bradford Magistrates' Court was told that Mr McNally, who had Down's syndrome, epilepsy, dementia and a severe learning disability, had been helped to the shower using a shower commode chair.

The shower chair fell forwards while he was loosely strapped in. Staff attempted to resuscitate him, but he was pronounced dead in hospital.

St Anne's was fined £190,000 following the death.

Kevin McNally broke his neck in a fall from a shower chair. Credit: ITV Calendar
  • Crawford's Walk, Hoole in Chester

One of the worst rated nursing homes was Crawford's Walk in Hoole, Chester - which is operated by Bupa.

It has twice been rated inadequate after inspectors found residents were forced to wait to go to the toilet, with some soiling themselves.

A separate investigation by Channel 4's Dispatches found one resident shouted at after filling her incontinence pad.

A care assistant told the woman: 'You're full of crap again. You're so naughty!' When the woman said she was sorry, the assistant replied: 'No, you're not sorry, because you know you're doing it!'

The undercover reporter was told that incontinence pads were "rationed" within the home and one carer was seen reusing a pad with urine and faeces on it.

Another nurse said she had to get people up at 3.30am for bed baths.

Credit: PA
  • Highcroft Manor, Northamptonshire

Highcroft Manor was also ranked inadequate by the CQC.

Inspectors found residents were at risk of infection as the home was so dirty.

There was an unpleasant odour throughout the home, beds had been made with dirty linen and the walls were stained with food and debris.

  • Aamina Home Care, Lincolnshire

While Aamina Home Care in Lincolnshire - which was rated good in 2015 - gave residents medicines unsafely and at wrong times.

And one patient had 19 different carers in a single month, exposing them to neglect.

  • Meadowbrook Care Home, Shropshire

Residents at Meadowbrook Care Home in Shropshire told inspectors they sometimes had to wait an hour before staff responded to their calls for help.

Ants were found crawling over one of the dining tables where residents were supposed to eat. Inspectors also found a soiled mattress.

And one resident was struggling to eat in full view of staff. They were spilling into their lap and only received help with two spoonfuls of dessert, which was all they really ate.