'Inadequate' Doncaster care home placed in 'special measures' following inspection

A Doncaster care home has been placed in ‘special measures’ by a government watchdog after inspectors uncovered a raft of failings.

Monday, 6th January 2020, 4:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 10:15 am

Skellow Hall care home on Cross Hill, scored the lowest mark of ‘inadequate’ for safety and management while its care, responsiveness and effectiveness were told to improve by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Inspectors found six breaches of the Health and Social Care Act around low staffing, unsafe management of medicines, unkempt facilities and general health and safety of residents.

The home is now under new management.

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Skellow Hall Care Home, Skellow. Picture: Marie Caley

Inspectors said they identified two safeguarding concerns on the first day of the inspection which were reported to Doncaster Council’s safeguarding team.

Residents were ‘not always protected from the risk of infection’ as inspectors found a shower chair that had not been cleaned properly along with a bag of ‘soiled items’ which were left on the floor in the corridor’.

No action was taken to fix a broken call bell which inspectors said could have left residents without assistance for a long time because the staff couldn’t hear it, documents show.

The comprehensive report also details that medicines were not always given and gaps were not always recorded.

Inspectors also found damp patches on an upstairs corridor that ‘hadn't been investigated to identify a cause’ and another leak was found in the same corridor.

CQC officials also noted that residents had to eat meals in the dining room which had ‘wet paint on the walls’. Inspectors said it wasn't a pleasant environment for people to enjoy their meal’.

Skellow Hall is a residential care home providing personal care to 21 people aged 65 and over at the time of the inspection. The service can support up to 29 people.

Care home manager Alex Morton said things were improving.

“Things at Skellow unfortunately declined due to poor managerial structure and organisation,” he said.

“We have myself as the new manager from November 2019 and I have restructured the management in the home and introduced some new roles to provide support to the management team and care team.

“The provider has also invested in care consultants who work with myself to implement new ways of working which have had a positive effect on the service.

“I’m also working in partnership with the council who are frequently inspecting the service, and they are positive about the changes and action plans that we have put into practice.

“We recently achieved compliant with our infection control audit conducted by Doncaster NHS Trust, which was a fantastic end to 2019.

“Skellow Hall has been receiving positive feedback on the changes made, and I'm positive that with the support of our great team that we will be achieving great results on our next CQC inspection.”

Following the inspection, a CQC spokesman said: “The overall rating for this service is ‘Inadequate’ and the service is therefore in ‘special measures’. This means we will keep the service under review and, if we do not propose to cancel the provider’s registration, we will re-inspect within six months to check for significant improvements.”

Phil Holmes, director of adults, health and wellbeing at Doncaster Council, said: “The care home now has a new management team which has developed a plan to lift standards. We will be supporting them to help ensure they carry out all necessary actions to deliver and sustain the improvements required.”