Standards of care slammed at homes

5 October 2011.....   Bywater Lodge/Hall care home, Allerton Bywater
5 October 2011..... Bywater Lodge/Hall care home, Allerton Bywater

A HEALTHCARE watchdog has slammed the standards of care at two homes for the elderly in Allerton Bywater and warned they face legal action unless they improve.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited Bywater Lodge and Bywater Hall on Leeds Road and found neither was meeting the government’s essential standards of quality and safety.

A report published by the CQC identified serious failures at both homes in cleanliness, staffing, management of medicines, welfare and nutrition, resulting in an immediate ban by Leeds City Council on accepting new admissions to either site.

Jo Dent, regional director for CQC in the Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “The care at both Bywater Lodge and Bywater Hall is nowhere near good enough.

“These reports paint a grim picture of the care endured by people living there, which is totally unacceptable.

“It is even more disturbing when you consider that many of the residents in these homes are frail, vulnerable people who are the least able to complain about the indignities and the unhygienic environment.”

The report said furniture and mattresses at both homes were “heavily soiled” and there was a “strong offensive odour” in many of the rooms.

On the day of the inspection, there was an outbreak of diarrhoea and vomiting at Bywater Hall, which spread to Bywater Lodge and infected a CQC inspector.

At Bywater Lodge, staff said they would not place any of their family members at the home and the acting manager said she had no confidence in anyone to safely dispense medication.

The CQC said Tri-Care Limited, which runs the homes, was failing to comply with nine standards at Bywater Lodge and eight standards at Bywater Hall.

Immediately after the inspection CQC gave the company ten days to provide a report showing how it would address the most serious failures.

Cath Johnson, of Crossgates, contacted the Express because she has two elderly friends at the home.

She said: “I don’t think they have enough staff to cope with the patients and if you haven’t got enough staff you can’t do the job properly.

“I’m backing the staff 100 per cent. I have such admiration for them and they have done their best. They’re absolutely superb.”

The Express asked Tri-Care Limited a number of questions, including what consequences management had faced, whether any residents had been moved since the report was published, and what improvements had been made.

A spokeswoman for the company said: “Recently some concerns were raised in relation to Bywater Hall and Bywater Lodge care homes.

“We took immediate action to address these concerns and we continue to work closely with the relevant bodies in this respect.

“A new management team was put in place and we took the decision to stop taking residents. We have offered CQC our full co-operation and welcome their return visits.”