Hemel Hempstead care home promises to shape up after damning report

Mountbatten Lodge care home, Hemel Hempstead
Mountbatten Lodge care home, Hemel Hempstead

A care home has been ordered to shape up after vulnerable old folk were discovered in soiled clothing and left in bed until lunchtime.

One resident had gone for three days without medication after it ran out, say inspectors from the Care Quality Commission.

They made the discoveries during an unannounced inspection of Hemel Hempstead’s Mountbatten Lodge in June.

The care home in Old Crabtree Lane which looks after people aged over 65, some of whom suffer from dementia, failed on seven national standards including care and welfare, cleanliness and infection control and meeting nutritional needs.

In one case a person had been without fluid or food for more than 17 hours and another went without for almost 14 hours. Inspectors, visiting over two days, noted that two people were displaying signs of dehydration.

Bathrooms were found dirty with toilets and seats soiled and there were bad odours in different parts of the home, ranging from the smell of urine and incontinence to soiled bed linen, dirty clothing and fluid spillages.

Individual bedrooms looked dirty and some bins, including yellow clinical waste bins, were found overflowing.

Inspectors were told by staff that the food on offer was normally less plentiful and of a poor quality and that there had been times when they had to count how many chips people had as there was not enough to go round. Workers also said that fresh fruit and snacks were not usually provided on a daily basis.

Now the home run by Quantum Care has been ordered to take immediate action to improve the situation and bosses had to draw up a step by step plan of how they will do this.

Inspectors will return unannounced to check whether improvements have been made and the commission has enforcement powers to take further action if needed.

In the most serious cases services can be suspended or cancelled and the commission can also issue financial penalties and cautions or prosecute a provider.

A spokesman for Quantum Care said: “We have accepted these findings in full and undertook appropriate and immediate measures to address the commission’s concerns regarding aspects of the quality of care and the safety of residents of Mountbatten Lodge.

“We instituted an extensive action plan focusing on operations within Mountbatten Lodge and have fully addressed all areas of non-compliance.

“We have communicated extensively with residents and relatives of the home and have also initiated improvements in management procedures throughout all of our residential homes.

“We take both the commission’s report and indeed all commission feedback very seriously, and we are confident that our prompt and on-going action has addressed the specific issues raised.”

Do you know someone who lives at Mountbatten Lodge? Are you happy with the standard of care, or does the report come as no surprise to you? Let us know what you think, email your views to thegazette@jpress.co.uk