North West Wales

Six staff suspended at criticised Dolgellau care home

Cerrig Camu care home
Image caption Serious failings were found at the Cerrig Camu care home

Six staff have been suspended at a Gwynedd home which cares for adults with learning difficulties after a report criticised it for "a significant number of failings".

Inspectors visiting after a complaint found smelly rooms and a poor standard of care at Cerrig Camu in Dolgellau.

The Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) has now told the home to make urgent improvements.

The home owners said it took client welfare extremely seriously.

The home caters for 24 adults in four buildings on the 11-acre estate. They are cared for by 57 staff.

Inspectors who visited in June found the bathrooms and toilets were in a poor state of repair, institutional in appearance and two bedrooms stank of urine.

'Appropriate intervention'

They also reported that medication was not being given at prescribed times or recorded correctly, and found little evidence of "appropriate levels of staff training and competence in this area".

Poor morale among staff, lack of communication between individual staff and teams at all levels were also noted.

As for mealtimes at the home, inspectors observed the quality of the food to be "poor with little consideration for the identified health and medical needs" of the residents.

In the CSSIW report, its author Jacqueline Hughes said regular visits had been made to the home and reports prepared.

But the report added that many failings identified "have not triggered appropriate intervention from the responsible individual or the directors of the company".

Ms Hughes wrote that the service provided "does not provide an acceptable level of care or a comfortable, safe environment".

Smell of disinfectant

One resident reported in October 2010 that he could not sleep properly because there were no curtains or blinds at his bedroom window.

But his concerns were ignored by staff and the resident "covered the windows in black plastic sacks and adhesive tape".

"Sitting areas have minimal furnishing and are clinical and institutional. Broken doors and windows were boarded up," Ms Hughes wrote.

"A strong smell of disinfectant pervaded all communal areas making it uncomfortable to spend any time in these areas, particularly the corridors."

'Immediate action'

CSSIW said it inspected the home after receiving an anonymous telephone call.

A spokesman for Gwynedd Council confirmed the authority and officers from CSSIW "are working together in accordance with national guidelines for the safeguarding of vulnerable adults".

Surrey-based Regard Partnership Ltd said it took client welfare extremely seriously and had procedures in place "to ensure that should a problem arise we are able to deal with it quickly".

It added that it has a "strict whistle blowing police that allows staff or clients to immediately and confidentially inform the management team of any problems that may be affecting them".

The company said it had requested an independent quality assessment of "client procedures" in response to a "concerned member of our staff".

"The findings of that independent report have led us to take immediate action and suspended six of our care staff at Cerrig Camu, pending further enquiries," it added.

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