Home Number 21
TALES OF THE UN-INSPECTED.
HOME NUMBER 21, BY EILEEN CHUBB.
Dear Mr Snell,
I recently visited…………………………………….home number twenty one, these are my observations,
I entered the home through an unsecured front door and spent several minutes walking about the front lobby area, a man appeared with an empty bottle of wine, I said I wanted to look round the home and he said he did not work there but his late mother had been a resident. He went on at some length about the meal he had been invited to that day and told me all about the chef and how good the food was, I asked several times about what care was given at the home but he continued to talk about the food, eventually he went to get the manager.
The manager spoke to me at length about the home and stressed the point that CSCI rated the home very highly and that the home had three stars, she showed me the ground floor first, she was determined that I should meet the chef and took me to the dinning room, there had been a special lunch that day and the press and local dignitaries had attended. Information about the food was given in great detail. I looked around the dinning room, it was nearly tea time and two residents had been brought into the room and had been seated at a table in their wheelchairs, I noticed they had no pressure relief cushions. Both residents were confused and were picking up items from the table, there were no care staff about only one staff member who I was told was from the hospitality team.
We went to the first floor as we came out of the lift two residents in wheelchairs had been left by the lift in the centre of the hallway, the manager moved them so they were left next to the wall so as not to block the hallway. The manager did not tell these residents she was moving them but just pushed them to the wall and said someone will come and see to them. Both residents were confused and I could see no staff about. The manager did not know these residents names but called them, Dear, she did not ask anyone why they had been left there.
Most residents on this floor were wearing nightclothes which seemed strange when it was not six o’clock yet, some were in bed and others were sat in front of tables as if there food was being served in their rooms.
The home smelt and looked clean throughout and the residents looked well groomed on the whole but there was a very institutional sterile feel to everything. I saw no staff interacting with residents at all.
We came to a room called the cinema room which was being used by two staff, I was told these were the nurses on duty. I saw two care staff in the corridors.
I was shown an empty room, I noticed that towels and soap had been laid out like they would be in an hotel bathroom, in fact that is what the whole home felt like, it would be ideal if you needed to stay somewhere with pleasant surroundings but care is another thing. All the rooms we passed had the doors open so you could see the residents, but it was if they were part of the furniture, not a word of greeting passed between the manager and residents, who all spoke to me when I said hello to them.
We returned downstairs, there were still only two residents in the dinning room, the manager went on again about the food and how everyone enjoyed it. I was given a brochure and left.
I thought the manager was there for her presentation skills and that as a result the home was run like a hotel, the manager would make a very good hotel manager but there is a great difference between a care home and a hotel. The difference being care. The home seemed to be run firstly to impress relatives, good food is all very well if there is someone to feed you.
The mangers spin did not match what I was seeing.
The last CSCI inspection report for this home is dated August 07, it grades this home as three star which says the care is excellent, however when you look at this report the most telling thing about it is that the words, the manager says, pretty much are relied upon as absolute evidence.
I have seen excellent homes and this is not one of them, this manager is the last person who knows what care residents are having, she has all the talk but doesn’t walk the walk, she gave those two residents in the corridor the same attention she would give a bag of rags, they were in the way she moved them out of the way, actions speak louder than words.