A care home in Market Harborough is being ordered to make urgent improvements by the end of next month after being branded “inadequate” by watchdog inspectors.
Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors carried out a surprise visit to Lenthall House on Lenthall Square off Western Avenue on the town’s Southern Estate in December.
And they have now placed the home, which has about 39 residents and 55 staff, into special measures after warning management that they have to do much better.
The care home was rated inadequate, the lowest possible rating, for both safety and leadership.
The CQC made the special unannounced inspection before Christmas amid growing worries about staffing levels, recurrent falls and a lack of management oversight at the care home.
Over a 24-day period, consisting of 72 shifts, staffing numbers did not meet the requirements 44 times and there was no registered manager in charge, the damning CQC report says.
Workers were told to “focus on care tasks and only record the most important information” due to staff shortages.
That meant that Lenthall House could not prove ailing elderly residents received essential care and support – putting them “at risk of deterioration in their physical and mental health”.
Residents, some of whom have dementia, had access to substances like hand sanitiser and alcohol wipes which could have been dangerous.
Medicines were also stored in residents’ bedrooms sparking serious concerns, said the CQC.
And medicines were not always effectively given to residents and the times of administration not always recorded, says the hard-hitting inspection report.
Lenthall House has now been put into ‘special measures’ as a warning notice was issued to the facility’s operator, Leicestershire County Care Limited.
Three other assessment areas – effective, caring and responsive – were not reviewed in December’s inspection and they remain ‘good’.
A CQC spokeswoman said: “The CQC carried out a focused unannounced inspection of Lenthall House, Leicestershire, in December.
“This was to look at how safe and well-led the care home is after receiving concerns in relation to staffing levels, staff training, recurrent falls and a lack of management oversight.
“Due to the issues found, the rating for the care home has dropped from being good to inadequate overall, as well as being rated inadequate for being safe and well-led,” she said.
“The provider has also been issued with a warning notice requiring them to make improvements by the end of March.
“Full details can be found in the inspection report published on our website.
“We continue to monitor the service closely and will return to check on progress to ensure that improvements have been made and embedded.
“If we find they haven’t, we will not hesitate to take action in line with our regulatory powers.”
Leicestershire County Care Limited has today been asked for a comment.