Thatcham's Holly Grange Residential Home placed in special measures

A residential care home in Berkshire has been placed in special measures after inspectors found it failed to keep its elderly residents safe.

Holly Grange Residential Home in Cold Ash, Thatcham, breached a number of Health and Social Care Act regulations, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said.

It found staff failed to report safeguarding issues despite one person previously leaving the building and being found and returned by police.

The home said it was "making changes".

CQC inspectors said people were "placed at potential risk of infection" because no Legionella testing of the water supply had been carried out at the home, which provides personal care support to up to 16 people, aged over 65.

'Lack of dignity'

Inspectors also found there was no appropriate equipment to sterilise commode pots, toilet brushes or stands, which were disinfected in a bath, and some equipment was unsafe, including a bath hoist which was missing a retaining bolt.

The report said staffing levels "were not sufficient to meet people's needs and some staff were working excessive and potentially unsafe hours".

Staff also lacked appropriate training, including the manager who had no record for having attended medicines training, and care plans sometimes "lacked sufficient detail" or "contained conflicting information", the CQC said.

People were not always treated with respect and dignity, and residents sometimes received support from male staff despite having stated a preference not to, it added.

The CQC said the service was under review and would be inspected again within six months.

A spokesman for the home said: "We are making the changes required by the CQC."

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