Care home inspectors helped ‘stressed’ residents unattended by staff

Lammermuir House Care Home', Dunbar.
Lammermuir House Care Home', Dunbar.
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Inspectors sent to evaluate standards in a care home had to step in to help stressed residents “maintain their dignity” during the visit after staff left them unattended.

A damning report into Lammermuir House Care Home, Dunbar, revealed officers from the Care Inspectorate had to unlock a toilet door several times for one resident, intervene with another who was exhibiting stressed behaviour and come to the aid of one resident who was “not appropriately dressed”.

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They also found bed-ridden residents being left for hours without anyone repositioning them, wound care items which were dated 2017 and medication lying on the floor of a bedroom.

A spokesperson for the home, which is part of Four Seasons Health Care Ltd, said they regretted some aspects of the service had slipped and were addressing the issues raised as a priority.

The care home had previously received good grades from the Care Inspectorate but the unannounced visit in December found staff shortages had led to a deterioration in the service.

The report, published this week, praised the commitment of staff but said the problems were caused because they were overstretched.

It said the “safety and well being of residents was compromised. This was due to the lack of staff working in the service”.

The inspection, which was carried out in December, found that staff were hard-working and residents received kind, caring and compassionate care, when attended by them.

Their report said: “Staff were not available on the ground floor to respond to the needs of residents many times throughout the days of inspection.

“Inspectors intervened to support a resident with stressed behaviour to avert their attention from other residents.

“Inspectors also supported residents to make sure their dignity could be maintained by unlocking the toilet door several times for one resident and seeking assistance for another when they were not appropriately dressed.”

Inspectors also reported several incidents where residents were not assisted with meals and tea and coffee was left cold and not drunk, while they demanded one resident was “attended to promptly” after discovering their oral hygiene was very poor.

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The home spokesperson said: “The inspectors said that residents and relatives thought highly of staff and were complimentary about the standard of care they delivered.

“Residents experienced kind, caring and compassionate care when staff attended to their needs.

“It was clear that staff knew residents well and the inspectors saw examples of staff responding to people’s preferences and wishes.

“Residents told the inspectors they enjoyed the activities provided and the outings they had to the local community. However, we regret that some aspects of the service had slipped from the previous high rating and we are addressing this as priority.”

The home added that at the time of the inspection a new manager had been appointed and has been carrying out an improvement plan.

They said they were also recruiting additional staff and looking at how they work and work practices.

East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership said it has been working with the home following the inspection to bring its grades back up.

The care home, which received ratings of Very Good or 5 from the Care Inspectorate for its care and support and staffing in January 2018, saw ratings fall to 2 or Weak for both those areas in the latest report.

It received a 3 or Adequate for leadership and how care and support is planned.

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