Dehydration and malnutrition at Ramsey Nursing Home

00:15 28 October 2022

Red House care home, Ramsey, was found to be inadequate after inspectors reported residents were at ‘risk of harm’ and found cases of dehydration and malnutrition.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) discovered several failures during an inspection in August and placed the house under special measures.

There were multiple breakdowns at the home which houses up to 60 residents, some of whom suffered from dementia and physical disabilities.

The inspection was triggered by reports that the home, run by HC-One, did not meet standards of care.

In addition, serious problems have already been discovered at another HC-One house, the Elms in Whittlesey, which has forced its closure and led to suspicions that common themes may be present at Red House.

Louise Broddle, CQC inspection manager for adult social care, said: ‘The standards of care at Red House Care Home were unacceptable and people were at risk of harm.’

The CQC rated the care home as inadequate in all five key areas, as it was not safe, efficient, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well run.

“Behind this was the failure of service leaders to use good systems and processes to ensure that people receive safe, high-quality care that manages all risks to their health and well-being,” said added Louise.

“That included failing to make sure lessons were learned when things went wrong.”

The inspection report said there was evidence of “negligent” practices and pointed out that a person had been given two different types of blood-thinning medication instead of just one.

This put the person at increased risk of bleeding and poor outcomes.

Another person had suffered extensive unexplained bruising, which was not reported to management for 16 days.

Louise said: ‘This situation got worse because the service didn’t have enough staff to meet people’s needs and the staff it did have had not received proper training.’

“We also found that people were at risk of dehydration and malnutrition, and were experiencing weight loss that was not effectively recognized and staff did not respond to.”

Inspectors found people were not being effectively screened and supported with fluid intake within the inspection time frame, which came when the UK was experiencing a heatwave.

One person even needed help from the emergency services due to dehydration.

The report said people were also at risk of pressure sores, skin breakdown and falls, with staff failing to respond to identify equipment faults or administer adequate support.

“The responsibility for these failures rests with HC-One as the service provider,” Louise said.

“HC-One should have taken all reasonable steps to ensure it could meet people’s needs and ensure their safety.

“He failed to live up to his responsibilities and consequently subjected his Red House residents to unacceptable standards of care.”

Inspectors witnessed a lack of personal care from staff, who said a person’s birthday went unnoticed and not celebrated with “people’s needs not always properly assessed, recognized and answered”.

A spokesperson for The Red House said: “Ensuring that we provide high quality care to our residents is our top priority, and so we are deeply disappointed with the latest assessment of The Red House by the CQC.

“We recognize that due to the specific challenges we have experienced in the Cambridgeshire area for some time, we have unfortunately not achieved the high standards that our residents expect and deserve in this home.

“With the support of Council and the CQC, and in line with the comprehensive action plan in place, we continue to work hard to overcome these and regain the trust of our residents and the wider community.

“We are fully committed to making substantial improvements within the six-month period stipulated by the CQC.

“Providing caring, high-quality care remains our top priority and we are committed to dedicating the time, senior management oversight and resources necessary to ensure we get the right care for every resident and their loved ones.

The Red House is the second care home in Huntingdonshire to be deemed inadequate following multiple Cromwell Care Home failures published on October 21.

The Red House will now also be under consideration and could be closed if the required improvements are not made.