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Inspectors find ‘cross contamination risk’, high levels of falls and no working soap dispensers at care home

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An under-staffed care home that breached a series of health regulations has been placed in special measures.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission have rated Lofthouse Grange and Lodge, in Lofthouse, Wakefield, as “Inadequate”, after it was discovered some residents were at risk of harm amid medicine control and cleanliness concerns.

As previously reported by the YEP, the former owners of the service, Orchard Care Homes, were fined £680,000 last year after a pensioner suffered life-changing injuries in a 30ft fall from a window at the site in 2015.

Speaking in a new report following the latest visit to the care home, now run by Indigo Care Services (2) Limited, CQC inspectors said concerns were raised about staffing levels, and the “high number” of agency staff recruited. The report said: “There were not enough staff to meet people’s needs effectively. There was a high turnover of staff and staffing levels were impacted due to sickness and absence.”

They also criticised safeguarding procedures and the management of medicines at the service.

“Safeguarding referrals were not always made appropriately and there were a high level of falls and incidents which had not been managed effectively,” the report said.

Concerns were raised about the cleanliness of the care home during the visit, as inspectors found “malodorous water jugs and dirty fridges”.

Soap dispensers were also not working, putting residents at risk of cross contamination, they said.

The report said: “Wheelchairs and pressure mats were often unclean.

“Automatic hand gel and soap dispensers across the service were not working which put people at risk of cross contamination.”

However, inspectors found meal-times at the care home were “pleasant experiences”.

The report added: “People told us staff were kind caring and compassionate, however due to other factors the service was not always able to deliver a wholly caring service.”

A spokesperson for the home said a new manager will soon be in post to drive forward improvements.

They said: “We are naturally disappointed with the report, which does not reflect the high standards we aim for, but welcome the feedback from the Care Quality Commission.

“A new manager will shortly be in place who will drive forward our robust and comprehensive action plan to make sustainable improvements at the home.

“We welcome the praise for our permanent staff team and aim to reduce the use of agency staff where possible. With the support of senior management we are confident that the home will move forward and the CQC will be satisfied with our actions.”