Holloway care home facing closure over ‘shocking’ conditions – including resident bathed in washing up liquid
PUBLISHED: 08:45 19 January 2017 | UPDATED: 11:52 19 January 2017
Staff at a Holloway care home were forced to clean a resident with washing up liquid because of the management’s obsession with cutting costs, a damning new report has claimed.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said staff St Mungo’s Broadway Care Home, in Hilldrop Road, were forced to “step over faeces” and watch as “urine dripped down patients’ legs”.
St Mungo’s accommodates up to 29 people with history of alcohol misuse, homelessness and mental health conditions. The CQC, an independent watchdog, has now placed the home in special measures after the “inadequate” report: the lowest rank on a scale of four. It has been given six months to improve – or face closure.
Islington North MP and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was last night furious at the home’s failings. When told about the resident being cleaned with washing up liquid, he reacted: “Oh, for god’s sake.”
Mr Corbyn, a staunch social care campaigner, told the Gazette: “I am quite shocked at this report, and pleased there has been an inspection on this home. I will be communicating directly with St Mungo’s to find out how this came about.”
The report, released last Tuesday, painted a picture of filthy conditions inside the home: “We found toilets and bathrooms to be extremely unclean and in poor repair. Toilets and surrounding areas such as walls, floors and bath panels were dirty with faecal matter and other body fluids.
“Toilets and bathrooms did not contain any hand washing facilities such as hand soap and hand drying equipment. [...] Staff told us that the management team had decided to stop the use of hand soap dispensers to cut costs.”
One staff member said: “We have no cleaning detergent. We don’t even have resources. One day I washed a resident with dish washing liquid in the bath.”
Another said: “Personal care is really poor. We always run out of aprons and gloves. The managers are not giving us the necessary equipment to clean. [...] All the managers discuss is cutting costs.”
Even the home’s deputy manager admitted staffing was “not commensurate with the size of the project and complexity of the clients”.
The report also questioned whether residents were treated with dignity, saying incontinence pads were stacked up in one person’s bedroom in full view of the doorway because there was nowhere else to store them.
Mr Corbyn added: “I constantly raise issues to do with social care, which we as a society ought to be able to rely on. I want St Mungo’s to be run properly, and for people to be treated with the respect they deserve. The shortage of basics is unacceptable in any circumstance.”
St Mungo’s chief executive Howard Sinclair said: “This inspection highlighted areas where we fell below the standard expected of us. This was deeply disappointing and we took immediate action, in particular to remedy cleaning problems, verify one person’s DBS status and offer more leadership support.
“We also resolved a one-off problem around the delivery of water bottles at the time of the inspection. We are pleased the CQC accepted our urgent action plan and are updating them monthly on ongoing improvements. We note inspectors saw ‘kind and caring interactions’.”
Bosses at the home have also “commissioned an independent review into wider lessons to be learned as we bring this service back up to offering the best care possible”.