Catalogue of errors at Harrogate Care Home

Alexander Care Home.
Alexander Care Home.

A Harrogate care home has been criticised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in a damning report which claims that elderly residents were left for days without their prescribed medication.

One distressed resident cried that he was being held prisoner at Alexander Court Care Home, while another was left to sleep on the dining table when the CQC inspectors visited in March 2014.

Enforcement action has been taken against the residential nursing home, which has been ordered to make major improvements.

Residents were at risk of malnutrition, inspectors found, as staff failed to record food and fluid intake. Inspectors witnessed one elderly resident choking on food, despite their notes clearly stating they could only eat pureed food.

The 85 bed care home, which charges between £550 and £725 per week, failed to ensure people’s safety and welfare the report found.

Chairs were used to block doorways and staff told inspectors they did not feel confident in their job roles and that training was ‘patchy’.

The damning report said: “In the hour we spent in the dementia care unit lounge there was very little staff presence and we observed people shouting for help.

“We did observe staff providing positive reassurance. However we also heard staff use inappropriate terminology. Staff referred to people as ‘feeders’ and ‘wanderers.’”

MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, Andrew Jones described the report as ‘shocking’ and said cases like this made him angry. He said: “The important people in all of this are the residents. They have been let down and not treated as any reasonable person would expect their relative to be treated.

“Two years ago the Government changed the inspection regime to make it more rigorous, this is an example of that regime working. Care of the elderly and vulnerable is not something those entrusted with that responsibility can be allowed to compromise.”

Alexander Court Care Home on Cornwall Road has been suspended from North Yorkshire County Council’s list of approved care homes.

A spokesman for the home’s registered provider, Esteem Care Ltd said they were working with the CQC and added: “Whilst the organisation has admitted responsibility, Alexander Court Care Home said that it was at fault as a result of a number of recent senior staff changes.

Director Himat Gami, said: “Concerns relate to record keeping and some staffing. We have communicated with all relatives, anyone with concerns should contact us.”

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