The CQC has imposed urgent conditions on the registration of Holmesley Care Home in Sidmouth, Devon following an inspection in February during which the service reported a COVID-19 outbreak.
Many of the home’s staff and residents were affected by the outbreak with some residents later dying from the infection.
A police investigation regarding the circumstances of the outbreak is currently ongoing.
The February inspection found a number of areas of concern, including insufficient training, assessment and supervision of staff and a lack of understanding of roles and responsibility under the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS).
Inspectors also found systems and processes were not robust enough to identify where things had gone wrong so lessons could be learnt along with poor record keeping so that the home was not able to demonstrate when it was delivering good care.
Amanda Stride, CQC’s head of adult social care, said: “When we inspected Holmesley Care Home, we found that people were not protected from the spread of infection. During the first day of our inspection we observed seven members of staff wearing face masks under their chin, or not at all. Soon afterwards, the care home experienced a widespread outbreak of COVID-19. As the circumstances which led to this are now subject to a police investigation, we are unable to comment further on this.
“There were also widespread and significant shortfalls in the way in which the service was led. Residents were at risk of neglect and abuse because systems to monitor the quality of care were either not in place, or not operating efficiently.
“We will continue to monitor the service closely, in conjunction with the local authority, to ensure that improvements are made and fully embedded. We will also meet with the provider to discuss how they plan to make the required changes to improve their rating and we will re-inspect to check the improvements have been made.”
The CQC’s urgent conditions prevent Holmesley Care Home from admitting new residents, or re-admitting former residents without prior written agreement. The provider must also ensure that systems are in place to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 to protect patients and staff.
Holmesley Care Home’s rating for safe and well-led deteriorated from good to inadequate. The service was inspected for its effectiveness for the first time and was rated requires improvement.
A spokesperson for Holmesley Care Home said: “The safety and wellbeing of residents is our top priority. We are disappointed that, on this occasion, we were found to have fallen short of the high standards we pride ourselves on, and that residents deserve and expect.
“We are grateful to the CQC for highlighting concerns, which included issues relating to infection prevention and control and record keeping. As soon as these concerns were raised, a detailed improvement plan was put in place and supported by the senior leadership team and the relevant authorities.
“As a result, all concerns relating to infection prevention and control have been rectified, and we are in the process of embedding new record keeping policies and training for staff. Following an in-depth investigation, the former home manager is no longer working with the care home and a new and experienced home manager is now in post. We are confident that upon the next inspection, significant improvements will have been made.”