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Perth care home residents with mental health issues denied access to toilets and showers

Craigieknowes Care Home.
Craigieknowes Care Home.

Inspectors found elderly people with mental health problems staying in a Perth care home were denied access to toilets and showers.

The issues were among a list of operational problems uncovered at Craigieknowes Care Home.

The Care Inspectorate completed an unannounced inspection on December 11 and revealed their findings in a damning report.

Leadership, staffing and support for the wellbeing of people living in the Four Seasons-run care home, which has been registered since 2002 and specialises in catering for people with mental health problems, were all scored as “weak”.

The report said: “We observed a lack of person-centred practice; particularly early in the morning when some people had been wakened early against their wishes.

“We also saw, for example, one person being denied the right to choose how to manage their continence needs whilst another was refused a shower because ‘it was not her day’.

“We were disappointed to see one person ask a member of staff for assistance to go to the toilet, only to be refused and told that they did not need to use the toilet as they were wearing continence aids.”

Another resident had waited all night for a cigarette as staff had not taken her out when it was raining.

This handling was branded “neither courteous nor respectful” by the Care Inspectorate.

Inspectors found that two toilets located opposite the communal lounge were not well maintained on both days of their inspection, and one had a broken seat.

The reporters said they were “concerned” with some of the practices carried out by night shift staff and stated that the service was not well led or managed.

It was revealed staff were not being encouraged to report problems and some issues reported had not been investigated properly by management.

The report added: “We were concerned that staff were reluctant or not supported to whistle-blow and found evidence which concluded that concerns or issues raised by staff had not been investigated properly by “inadequate” management.

“Staff appeared to be aware of the policy but lacked the confidence to use it and told us that they were concerned about potential ramifications from the management team which they feared could jeopardise their professional careers.”

Inspectors have now demanded a robust whistle-blowing policy is put in place.

Four Seasons has been in administration since last April, putting jobs and the future of care provision in Perth up in the air.

The care home has a capacity of up to 47 residents.

A spokesperson for Four Seasons Health Care said: “We are aware that Craigieknowes Care Home is not currently operating at the high standard that we expect and the Care Inspectorate requires of all our homes.

“We take our responsibility as a care provider very seriously and have swiftly put in place a plan to address the concerns raised by inspectors. This plan is based on a very thorough review of the report’s findings.

“Our senior specialists will be working with our colleagues at the home to ensure they’re fully supported to implement this plan successfully. Throughout this process our priority is the care and wellbeing of our residents.”

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