Fire risk home left in special measures

Continuing concerns over fire safety have contributed to Donwell House care home in Washington, Tyne & Wear remaining in special measures.

The home, which is run by Shaftesbury Care Group, was previously fined £380,000 for putting the lives of its residents and staff at risk following a fire in September 2014 where a pensioner had to be rescued from a first floor window and taken to hospital.

Debbie Westhead, deputy chief inspector of adult social care in the north, said: “It is unacceptable that people using these services did not have even their most basic rights to live in a safe environment taken care of.

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“Fire safety was a real concern for us, including inadequate fire detection systems and a very out of date evacuation register. We had previously told Donwell House that they must take action to fix these problems at a previous inspection so it was disappointing to see that none had been taken.”

Donwell House was previously inspected in March this year when it was rated ‘inadequate’ after inspectors found several breaches of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

Debbie added: “We were very concerned about the lack of risk assessments at the service. For example people with swallowing difficulties had no risk assessments completed in relation to choking, potentially endangering their safety.

“The way medicines were handled at Donwell House was also a real cause for concern. We found conflicting information in people’s care records about how they should be given medication, and the temperature of the treatment room often exceeded the recommended guidelines meaning the effectiveness of some medicines may have been compromised.

“We are working with local partners including Sunderland City Council to ensure the safety of people using this service”

To read the full report, click here.



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