Frail elderly residents are not being fed properly and their safety is being put at risk at a Dearne care home, government inspectors have ruled.
Dementia patients at Meadow View Care Home in Kilnhurst often returned to their rooms without food because staff took so long to get meals on tables in the dining hall.
Residents were also identified as being at risk of receiving the wrong doses of medicine and care plans for some had not been updated in two years.
The criticisms were highlighted in a damning report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after inspectors made an unannounced visit to the home in Randerson Drive.
The facility was rated as ‘Inadequate’ - the lowest possible rating - and warned it must improve or face potential closure.
Debbie Westhead, deputy chief inspector of adult social care in the north for the CQC, said: “We found that the care provided at the Meadow View Care Home fell a long way short of what we expect services to provide. We have told them they must take action to resolve the issues we identified. The failure to act on concerns raised by relatives demonstrates poor practice.”
A report published last week showed inspectors visited in November 24 and 25 last year as a follow up to a previous inspection several months earlier. The previous inspection had demanded improvements after raising concerns that residents’ nutritional and care needs were not being met.
The latest inspection rated safety, leadership and responsiveness to care as ‘Inadequate’. The report concluded some residents were “not always supported by staff to enable them to eat and drink sufficient amounts for their needs.”
It added some people had to wait for over an hour for meals in the dining area and one resident said: “I got fed up with waiting so I went back to my room.” The report added: “One person said they did not want any food now, as they were no longer hungry.”
Residents were also not protected against the risks associated with the unsafe use and management of medicines.
The report said: “Care plans had not been updated. In some cases this had not been done in two years and did not detail people’s changing needs.” The inspection found staff “did not always administer people’s medication as prescribed” and tablets went “missing and unaccounted for.”
Inspectors said staff training was not up to scratch. It said: “One staff member said: ‘I was just thrown in and had to learn as I went along’.”
The report added the effectiveness of service provided ‘Requires Improvement’, but said people who work at the home are ‘kind, caring and showed compassion’.
The CQC issued a formal warning notice to Yorkshire Parkcare Co Ltd, which operates the 48 bed facility.
A CQC spokesman said: “If the relevant improvements have not been made we can put the home into special measures. Ultimately we can revoke their licence and close the care home.”
Swinton councillor Ken Wyatt said: “What I read in the report concerns me. But the council’s safeguarding adults and health and well-being teams are working with the care home owners and an improvement plan has bee put in place.”
A care home spokesman said the firm has implemented an action plan, adding: “The care home has a new leader, we have introduced a new training programme and we have increased staffing by nearly 20 per cent and continue to recruit. Since the inspection, local authority officials have visited the home, including as recently as last week, and we have received positive feedback from them, and from relatives’ residents, about the changes we have introduced.”