Tuesday 25 February 2020
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People at risk of harm at Westminster nursing home

A nursing home in the London borough of Westminster, where people using it are at risk of harm, has been rated Inadequate overall by the Care Quality Commission and placed in special measures.

Professionals from Westminster City Council and the NHS are working intensively with the provider to support the improvements required for safe and effective care.  

Garside House Nursing Home, in Regency Street, was rated Inadequate for being safe, effective, responsive and well-led. It was rated Requires Improvement for being caring, following the inspection in November 2019.

The care home is operated by Sanctuary Care Ltd and provides nursing care for up to 40 people. At the time of CQC’s inspection 27 people were living at the service, including older people, people living with dementia and those receiving end of life care.

The inspection was prompted in part by notification of specific allegations of abuse and mistreatment of people receiving care, which CQC received on 21 October 2019.

The local authority visited the service shortly after these allegations were received and a step-in team it placed to oversee the nursing home following the allegations raised further concerns of safety and good governance. The original allegations are subject to a criminal investigation by the Metropolitan Police. As a result, this inspection did not examine the circumstances of the specific allegations.

However, CQC has identified breaches of regulation in relation to safe care and treatment, safeguarding people from abuse, person centred care, dignity and respect, nutrition and hydration, staffing, acting on complaints and good governance.

Inspectors found that people were placed at undue risk of harm. People’s medicines were not managed safely, and the service did not follow good infection control procedures. People's hydration needs were not always met, and the risk of dehydration and weight loss was not properly mitigated.

People's social needs were not adequately met, and there was a risk of social isolation. End of life plans were not in place for people.

The service did not engage in a meaningful way with people receiving care and their relatives.

CQC's regulatory response to the more serious concerns found during inspections is added to reports after any representations and appeals by the provider have been concluded.

Alison Murray, Head of Adult Social Care inspection in London, said:

"The standard of care at Garside House Nursing Home is very poor and there have been allegations of abuse that the police are investigating.

"Whilst the council's step-in team provides some reassurance, we will be keeping a close watch on developments and will use our enforcement powers to the full should they be necessary."