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Archived: Victoria Lodge Residential Care Home

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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 26 February and 8 March 2013
Date of Publication: 28 January 2014
Inspection Report published 28 January 2014 PDF

People should be cared for in safe and accessible surroundings that support their health and welfare (outcome 10)

Enforcement action taken

We checked that people who use this service

  • Are in safe, accessible surroundings that promote their wellbeing.

How this check was done

We looked at the personal care or treatment records of people who use the service, carried out a visit on 26 February 2013 and 8 March 2013, observed how people were being cared for and talked with people who use the service. We talked with carers and / or family members, talked with staff and talked with commissioners of services.

Our judgement

People who use the service were not protected against the risks of unsafe or unsuitable premises.

Reasons for our judgement

The service was laid out over two converted semi detached houses, with accommodation provided on three floors. All rooms had wash basins and some also had en suite toilets. The level of occupancy at the time of our inspection was five out of a possible 17. This meant that there were a number of empty rooms. The top floor (three rooms) was unoccupied. The middle floor (nine rooms) currently accommodated two people. Some of the rooms were used for storage of bedding and old furniture. The whole of the home was accessible to all and rooms used for storage were not locked, meaning that they could represent a risk.

People were not protected against the risks associated with unsafe or unsuitable premises. One bedroom on the top floor had a cupboard which was not locked. The cupboard lead to an attic space which contained a water tank and electrical wiring which meant this was a safety hazard. The same bedroom had a second door leading off it which was not its entry/exit door. The door was locked and had a window which was approximately half the size of the door which was not covered over. Through the window was a staircase which was accessible from the other side. The door was locked but anyone could walk up the staircase and see in to this room, which made this room unsuitable because it lacked sufficient privacy.

The premises were not adequately maintained. On the middle floor was a toilet with a large sink. The sink was dirty and contained hairs and grime. The Registered Manager who was present, explained that a carer had been cleaning the floors and the sink had been used to empty the dirty water in to. We asked the Registered Manager why this had been left in a dirty and unhygienic state. We were told that the carer was not currently in the building but would come back to clean up later after attending to other duties. Beneath the sink was wooden chipboard panelling. The boards that touched the floor were frayed and chipped and the floor was stained and damaged. This meant it was not adequately maintained.

In the hallway on the middle floor was a cupboard which did not lock and was bolted from the outside. The doors did not close flush with the door frame when bolted and sagged open, ajar. The cupboard contained old broken bathroom tiles with sharp edges and had a winding rubber pipe of about two metres in length leading to and from the hot water boiler. Another cupboard on the middle floor also had a bolt to secure its closure and did not lock. It contained an old television and a broken walking stick. Both cupboards contained hazards to safety: rubberised hot water pipes, sharp objects and a hot water tank which meant that a failure to adequately maintain the premises made it unsafe. The Registered Manager told us that they were waiting for the owner to arrange for a skip and there was going to be a clear out of old stuff that included what had been stored in unused bedrooms, but this had been the situation for as long as she had been in post (approximately 6 months). We were also told there were no current plans to make these cupboards safe or secure when we asked. This meant that service users had not been protected from risks associated with unsafe premises.

Some of bedrooms that were occupied had been well maintained and some empty rooms were being prepared for the prospect of new residents moving in. The service was making efforts to refresh the premises and had replaced some people’s bedroom carpets and had ordered flooring for another. Some rooms had also been painted but overall we found the premises to be old, worn and not well maintained. For instance, carpets were mostly old and worn, a lot of the wall and ceiling paint was old and faded and there were exposed pipes and open ended disused piping lining hallway ceilings on the middle floor. One room on the middle floor had cracks between the wall and ceiling plaster. We asked the Registered Manager if there had been any checks carried out on the suitability,