A SHALDON care home has been put into special measures by inspectors to ‘protect’ its residents, particularly from the risk of abuse from staff. 

Inspectors have stepped in and put Teignbridge House Care Home in special measures after they found declining standards and safeguarding concerns. 

The home, which has 24 beds for dementia suffers, had previously been required to make improvements.

But following an unannounced inspection, the Care Quality Commission had such serious concerns it was further downgraded to inadequate. 

Details cannot be released currently, but the CQC has confirmed it is also taking enforcement action.

The deterioration they discovered led to the overall rating being downgraded to inadequate and put into special measures.

This means the CQC will closely monitoring it to ensure people are being kept safe, and it will be inspected again to assess whether improvements have been made.  

In the wake of the visit, the registered manager ‘stepped down’.

Two years ago, the home was fined £33,000 after an elderly resident managed to climb onto a roof and fell, sustaining life changing injuries. 

Cath Campbell, CQC deputy director of operations in the south of England, said:   ‘Despite CQC telling Teignbridge House Care Home where it needs to improve, it is unable to make rapid changes or sustain them. 

‘This has led to their rating stalling at requires improvement since 2019 as we find improvements in some areas and then a decline in others.  

‘This is not acceptable for the people living at Teignbridge, who deserve more, and after finding serious decline at this inspection, is why we have placed the home into special measures and started the process of taking further action to protect people.

‘Teignbridge weren’t protecting people from the risk of abuse, especially from staff members.

‘We followed up on concerns about one person’s well-being after they were affected by the actions of one staff member. 

‘We were so concerned we made a safeguarding alert to the local authority and raised it with the provider who hadn’t done so, or even addressed the allegations with the staff member involved. 

‘This is unacceptable. 

‘This wasn’t the only safeguarding alert we had to make at this inspection.

‘People weren’t being supported to live dignified lives. ‘One person told us they were unhappy with their appearance, which we saw had been neglected. 

‘It was also more concerning that this person was reliant on staff to advocate for them because they were living with dementia and had few visits from family or friends. 

‘After the inspection we fed back our findings to the provider who was also the registered manager. 

‘They took the decision to step down and engage a new person to run the service. 

‘The provider also contacted the local authority’s quality assurance and improvement team for advice as they recognised they needed support.’

The CQC report highlighted:

Safeguarding concerns not always being reported externally, meaning the service was failing to protect people from abuse.

Poor management systems and oversight of care, meaning risks of malnutrition, dehydration, lack of mental and emotional stimulation, poor infection control, staff training and environmental risks had not been identified or addressed.

Not all staff were recruited appropriately. Inspectors found gaps in staff employment histories and there was a poor choice of references. Steps had not been taken to ensure all staff were suitable to work in a care home.

Care plans for people living with dementia did not contain records of best interest decisions or mental capacity assessments.

The service didn’t have an effective admission system, meaning the management team couldn’t make sure they could meet the needs of people moving to the service particularly those who needed extra assistance to move using equipment or had additional care needs.