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Under-staffed care home rated inadequate by inspectors

Care Quality Commission
Care Quality Commission

Residents were left in bed for most of the day at an under-staffed care home, which has been placed in special measures.

Riverside Court in Knottingley has been rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after a visit by inspectors in April.

In a highly critical report, the regulator said some staff were “uncaring” towards people at the home, which caters for 60 elderly residents across four units.

It added that patients’ privacy and dignity were not respected, food was “mediocre” and some were confined to their rooms all day with “little or no interaction”.

Among other criticisms were that workers “spoke openly about people’s

conditions while in communal areas” and there was a “lack of transparency and openness” within the home’s culture.

Detailing one incident witnessed by the inspectors, the report said: “We observed people left with breakfast in their rooms and no assistance offered by staff to eat or drink.

“On one occasion a person had lost their teeth which were under their chair and their full dinner plate was in front of them.

“We saw the care assistant come into the room, pick up the teeth leaving them on the side and take away the full dinner plate and the person’s drink.”

The CQC added that there were “insufficient staff levels to meet people’s needs safely”.

It said: “Most people spent the day in their rooms, often in bed, with their doors open and staff periodically walked up and down the corridor looking in the rooms but did not always acknowledge them.

“Staff did not always treat people empathetically. One person who was very distressed was repeatedly told by a care assistant, “Don’t cry” without any attempt being made as to find out the cause.

“When prompted by an inspector, the care assistant asked the person what was upsetting them but dismissed their response.”

The service, which is run by private firm Speciality Care, must now improve or face closure.

A spokesman for the home said: “We are disappointed with the CQC’s findings and we’re working closely with the new and experienced manager and his staff team to drive improvements at Riverside Court.

“Our foremost priority remains to ensure that we deliver the high standard of care our residents and their relatives expect.”

Wakefield Council said they were working closely with the CQC and monitoring the home’s progress.

The local authority is always informed whenever a care home is placed in special measures.