A Glossopdale care home where nine residents died after contracting Covid-19 has been rated 'inadequate' due to a lack of infection restrictions and personal protective equipment.
Oakford Manor Nursing Home in Newshaw Lane, Hadfield, in the High Peak, was given the lowest possible rating by health watchdogs the CQC.
The CQC wrote: “The provider did not follow or meet national guidance in relation to infection prevention and control for the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This put people and staff at risk. The provider had not introduced procedures to detect and control the spread of infection during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Staff did not always wear or have access to appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).”
The care home, overseen by Rushcliffe Care Limited, had 28 residents aged 65 and over at the time of the July inspection, now published, with a capacity for up to 50.
In May, it said that eight residents had died after contracting the virus, with a number of other residents testing positive but making good recoveries.
Rushcliffe says that, since May, a further resident at the home died after contracting the virus.
The CQC also said: “Staff said they feared repercussions from speaking with us and told us there was a blame culture.”
It has placed the service in ‘special measures’ which will keep it under close review for up to a year and it will be reinspected within six months to check for “significant improvements”.
The watchdog raised significant concerns about social distancing in the care home.
It said: “We observed staff did not routinely adhere to social distancing. At the time the inspection was carried out, national guidance was for people to remain two meters apart wherever possible.
“However, we saw staff did not observe social distancing when supporting people.
“We observed an activity where 16 people and five staff were in the main communal lounge. There was enough space for the activity to be completed whilst observing social distancing, but people were in close proximity to each other and staff were not always wearing PPE.”
CQC inspectors said that when they visited the home, one wall had two posters outlining the facility’s policy on face masks: One which advised them to be worn at all times and another saying they should be worn in people’s bedrooms, but not in the corridors.
One staff member told CQC inspectors, “There is confusion and complacency around the wearing of PPE.”
Another staff member said: “I’ve noticed care staff aren’t always wearing PPE, we’re not sure what we should do and shouldn’t do.”
Meanwhile, a further staff member said: “We’re not supposed to wear our uniform to go to and from work, most staff still do though, no-one checks.”
They also told inspectors: “Staffing is a bit dodgy, it’s hit and miss if there are enough staff or not.”
A different staff member said: “There is a lot of staff sickness, it’s because staff are so overworked.”
Another staff member said: “We are short staffed and it’s a safety issue.”
Inspectors wrote: “Throughout the inspection visit, we saw many occasions where staff were not wearing the appropriate PPE. This placed people at risk.
“For example, we saw staff not wearing surgical face masks, staff not wearing disposable gloves or aprons and staff wearing surgical face masks that were pulled down underneath their chin, therefore not offering any protection.”
Inspectors said “during the Covid-19 pandemic a high number of people and staff had contracted the virus”.
The then manager of the facility had assured a healthcare professional, inspectors wrote, that it would adhere to national guidance “from there on”.
However, inspectors said: “When we conducted the inspection 10 weeks later, there was still a lack of up to date guidance in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Graham Godfrey, health and safety officer for Rushcliffe Care Group, said: “Oakford Manor Care Home’s recent rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has been disappointing and the draft report was challenged in a number of areas.
“Oakford Manor Care Home is a nursing home with a significant number of ‘end of life’ residents and was impacted like many care homes across the country by the coronavirus pandemic.
“The home has had one Covid-19 related death since May, who was a resident that was admitted from hospital as Covid-19 positive and was on ‘end of life’ care.
“We disagree with the comments regarding a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and as a company have been proactive in procurement of all PPE requirements, with evidence supplied to the CQC.
“We also issued, and continue to provide, all current national guidance to the home, as and when this is promulgated by the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England or other regulatory bodies; again this was evidenced to the CQC.
“Since the report, we have a new manager on site and undertaken additional refresher training for staff on infection prevention and control.
“We have reviewed how information is cascaded down to staff and we are very proud of the hard work and personal commitment shown by the Oakford Manor Care team as a whole.
“This has been an unprecedented time and the dedication, care and support that the staff give to our residents is humbling. We will be working with the CQC to get the home back to the rating it deserves.”