Care home blasted by inspectors after EVERY resident and carer is struck down by Covid

A Fylde care home which locked down for 11 weeks to keep coronavirus at bay has been ordered to improve by the health industry watchdog after every resident and carers there later became infected with Covid-19.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 26th April 2021, 10:43 am

On an unannounced visit to Fairhaven Lodge, St Annes, last December, a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspector found all 11 people living at the home at the time had tested positive for the virus – and all the staff team had also contracted it.

The previous March, 10 staff and 17 residents at the home in Fairhaven Road had locked down in a bid to keep Covid out.

The CQC said in its report that the targeted inspection was carried out “to follow up on specific concerns which we had received about the service and prompted in part due to concerns received about infection control”.

Fairhaven Lodge care home in St Annes

The home’s rating of ‘good’ from its last full inspection in 2019 was downgraded to ‘requires improvement’ after particular concerns about safety at the home and how well-led it is.

The inspector found that risks related to infection prevention and control were not managed, the report said, adding: “The provider had not ensured people, staff, and others were protected against the risk of infection.

“We found several shortfalls in relation to infection prevention and control, including areas of the home where high dusting had not been carried out, pedal bins which could not be operated properly and so had to be touched, and equipment that had not been thoroughly cleaned and decontaminated.

“The manager had not carried out an infection control audit to assess and assist with managing the risks.

“We found the provider’s quality assurance systems had not been operated effectively.

“Records relating to care and the management of the service were not always complete, accurate, and up to date. This could have compromised the quality and safety of the service.

“The provider had not protected people by assessing the risk of, preventing and controlling the spread of infection.”

But the report added: ”We observed staff used personal protective equipment appropriately during the inspection. The home had not allowed visitors in since the pandemic began and had processes in place around safe visiting when people were at the end of their lives.

“The service was taking part in regular testing for staff and people who lived at the home and, following our inspection, the manager provided a completed infection control audit, which showed they had taken action in relation to shortfalls they identified during the audit.

“We also received confirmation they had taken action to address the concerns we raised during our inspection.”

A new manager is now in place.

Dr Muni Nazerali, the provider at Fairhaven Lodge, said from Canada: “Our rating for safety and leadership was marked at the recent inspection as ‘needs improvement’ – but there are two sides to every story.

“In our case, we were ‘the little care home that could…’

“Staff moved in to protect the residents during the entire first wave of the pandemic some months before.

“But then the CQC re-inspected our home in December, unfortunately at a time when, as in many other care homes up and down the country, every one of our care staff had become infected with Covid-19 It was a bit harsh.

“When the inspectorate conducted the inspection, our staff were all off sick with Covid but we were fully staffed with agency personnel.

“We decided that the care and well-being of the residents was much more important than anything else so we concentrated on looking after the residents and compromised keeping our paperwork up to scratch and up to date, ticking the boxes, etc.

“Thus the inspection revealed flaws in our record keeping and paperwork.

“But the inspector has clearly stated that there was no fault found with resident care and no areas of concern were identified in the other key questions.

“We are, as always, keen to work with the Inspectorate to improve every aspect of the home.

“We feel our home is very caring and our residents and families know that.

“After the disappointing inspection report, we are now under new management and working hand-in-hand with the CQC to recover our former rating of ‘good’ in all areas inspected.”

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