'Inadequate' care home in Sheffield 'had too few staff'

Norton Lees Hall and Lodge care home (pic: Google)
Norton Lees Hall and Lodge care home (pic: Google)
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A care home in Sheffield has been rated 'inadequate' amid concerns over staffing levels, cleanliness and safety.

Norton Lees Hall and Lodge was awarded the lowest possible grade by the Care Quality Commission, following an unannounced inspection.

The watchdog placed the home, which can accommodate up to 80 people, into special measures after discovering five breaches of health and social care regulations.

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Orchard Care Homes, which runs the premises, said a new home manager had been recruited and the service was 'progressing well'.

The commission's report, published last Thursday, describes the leadership as 'weak and inconsistent', says the management of medicines was 'not always safe' and tells how relatives and employees had claimed there were too few staff to 'appropriately meet people's needs'.

It also criticises cleanliness at the premises on Warminster Road, in Norton Lees, where dirty fridges, shelves and microwaves were found in kitchenettes and, and describes how pull cords used to call staff in an emergency were missing in some rooms when inspectors visited in February.

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The report does state that missing call bells had since been replaced and staff had been instructed to clean the kitchenettes, where refurbishment was already planned at the time of the visit.

It also describes how residents told inspectors they were treated with 'dignity and respect', they were 'satisfied' with the quality of care and they made 'positive comments' about staff.

"We saw the leadership of the service had been weak and inconsistent since the registered manager had left," the report states.

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"We saw there had been widespread and significant shortfalls in the way the service had been led. Relatives we spoke with told us there had been a lack of consistency in the management of the service."

The watchdog said the service would be inspected again within six months, and if 'significant' improvements had not been made in this time enforcement action could be taken.

A spokeswoman for Orchard Care Homes said: "We are disappointed by the outcome of the report, which does not reflect the high standards we aim for.

"A new home manager has been recruited and is in place and the home is progressing well under the support of an internal improvement team. The home is working closely with the clinical commissioning group, the local authority and external and internal quality monitoring partners."

Until April last year, the home had been registered as two separate services: Norton Lees Hall and Norton Lees Lodge.

Norton Lees Lodge was rated 'good' when it was last inspected in January 2017 and Norton Lees Hall was rated 'requires improvement' in October 2016.

Three managers had left between April 2017 and January this year, according to the report.