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Archived: Victoria Lodge Residential Care Home

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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 1, 8 May 2013
Date of Publication: 29 January 2014
Inspection Report published 29 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 1 May 2013 and 8 May 2013, observed how people were being cared for and talked with staff. We reviewed information given to us by the provider, reviewed information sent to us by commissioners of services and talked with commissioners of services.

Our judgement

Some progress had been made with maintenance issues but a health and safety audit highlighted areas where the service was in breach of health and safety legislation. A similar previous audit, carried out two years ago, had not been acted on. Lift safety and risk assessments of bacteria levels in water were outstanding. This meant that the service were non compliant with this regulation.

Reasons for our judgement

We visited with a health and safety officer from the local authority on the 1 May 2013. They sought to clarify whether suitable risk assessments had been carried out in order to check for harmful bacteria in the water system and whether the lift had been checked, which was a legal requirement.

The registered manager told us that a sample of water had been sent away for analysis. The health and safety officer told us this was inadequate and that in addition to this a suitably qualified person needed to visit the service to carry out a check of pipe work to assess where water may sit in the system thus causing risk of bacteria build up.

The service was unable to demonstrate that essential regular checks of the lift, which are a legal requirement, had been carried out. The manager told us that the owner of the service had paid a fee to a lift company yesterday. We were told that this was to carry out the required safety checks although it could not be demonstrated that the fee had been paid or whether there was any plan for the essential safety checks to be carried out.

We walked around the premises and found that issues we had previously pointed out, such as cracked ceiling, open cupboards and frayed skirting boards, had been rectified. Where locks had been fitted to cupboards to prevent people having access to safety hazards such as hot water piping and electrical wiring, locks had been crudely fitted. Holes had been hacked in to the old cupboard doors where the keyholes were. We spoke to the maintenance man who told us this was a short term fix which would be put right. He showed us the repair book where work carried out had been recorded. This included fixing loose door handles, putting locks on doors and repairing pipe work. We were told that work would be carried out when something was identified by himself or the manager as needing fixing.

The registered manager told us that a suitably qualified health and safety company carried out an audit of the premises on 22 April 2013 (a week and a half before our visit). The outcomes had not yet been reported back at the time of our inspection on 1 May 2013.

Two health and safety reports were available when we visited again on 8 May 2013. A risk management report highlighted a number of issues that the health and safety consultant had found were in need of attention. They were graded from one (immediate attention required) to six (review yearly or when circumstances change). There were a number of actions needed in order for the service to comply with health and safety legislation. This included six grade ones that included completing risk assessments and formulating policy and procedures. We were told by the registered manager that they had recently sent a copy of a health and safety report completed in 2011 to the owner. We asked why the current report had not been sent and were told that the 2011 report said the same things as the 2013 one and the owner had not acted on the requirements of that report. This meant the home had known that there were issues with the safety and suitability of the premises for some time.