Leeds care home condemned as ‘inadequate’ for second time in six months

Donisthorpe Hall, on Shadwell Lane, Moortown, Leeds
Donisthorpe Hall, on Shadwell Lane, Moortown, Leeds
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A failing Leeds care home has been condemned by a health watchdog as ‘inadequate’ for the second time in six months.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found that Donisthorpe Hall, in Shadwell Lane, Leeds, was still in breach of six health care regulations in a new report published this week.

They found instances where a resident with epilepsy had not been given prescribed medicine to prevent seizures and another at risk of choking was not given soft food, while the facility did not have “enough competent staff to meet people’s needs”.

Concerns over a high use of agency staff, workers being “overstretched” and care records showing one resident was bathed only five times in three months were also noted.

Donisthorpe acknowledged efforts to improve had “not been sufficient”, leading to a new management team from BAM Healthcare being called in.

Debbie Westhead, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector for adult social care in the north, said: “People are entitled to services which provide safe, effective, compassionate and high quality care.

“Whenever we find a service to be inadequate, we will take further action on behalf of the people who use the service.”

The facility, which can cater to up to 189 residents, has been issued criticism in each of its last three CQC inspection reports – the first dating back to January 2015.

It was again criticised in November for a lack of staff training in areas like the safe handling of medication.

Despite warnings, the new report found only 77 of 149 staff employed there for more than 12 weeks had completed “key training tasks” in areas like health and safety, food hygiene, person-centred care and safeguarding adults.

Lunch times in one of the facility’s six units offering residential, nursing and dementia care were described as “chaotic” although residents were offered varied meals.

Describing the leadership of the home and systems in place to evaluate quality, inspectors noted: “There was a lack of organisation and systems were not operated effectively.”

Inspectors did, however, find that residents and families were complimentary about the staff who were “kind and caring in their approach”.

Andrew Brown, chair of the board of trustees at Donisthorpe Hall, said: “We recognise the need for urgent improvement at Donisthorpe Hall and accept that past efforts to improve the care have not been sufficient. Over the past month, we have therefore taken a fresh approach.”

He continued: “Together with existing staff and volunteers, we are working with BAM Healthcare to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our residents, improve operational standards and raise the consistency and quality of our care.”

He said a series of steps have been taken since the latest CQC inspection, including the ongoing recruitment of new staff, regular staff meetings, enhanced staff training and assessments of residents’ needs to ensure that staffing and skill levels in all areas are suitable.

An external pharmacist has also reviewed medication and identified training needs for staff, while key systems and records have been reviewed and the findings have been shared with staff.