A SOON to be closed Basingstoke care home was in breach cleanliness, safety and care regulations, according to the care watchdog’s latest report on the facility’s service.

Roman House, in Winklebury Way, is set to close its main care home after admitting that “due to the age of the building” its “facilities are no longer fit for purpose”.

In light of the news, the Gazette has consulted the report published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after an inspection of the care home’s service in March, this year.

Inspectors gave the service a ‘requires improvement’ rating in each of the five categories assessed.

The facility was found to be in breach of four regulations of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. Those breaches related to the service's safety, the cleanliness and suitability of its premises and equipment, its person-centred care and its governance.

As well as finding that the main building “was not safe from the risk of fire”, the report cited further safety issues with risk assessments and care and support plans.

While risk assessments were in place for people using bedrails, the assessment did not take into account that one person was epileptic. National guidelines recommend bed rails are not used for people living with epilepsy.

One person was living with diabetes but their care plan did not identify signs of low blood glucose levels and actions staff could take in such an event.

Another person’s seizure chart had not been completed since February 2018 – despite staff confirming they had had seizures since then. Nor were “management service checks” properly completed and audits and quality checks were “not operated effectively.”

The report also found equipment and carpet were “dirty and smelt of faeces.”

It added: “This was not cleaned later in the day when inspectors reviewed the same areas. We raised this with the interim management team who took action to ensure the carpet was cleaned.”

Some residents complained about the standard of food. One person said:"I don't feel I have much choice within the building. The food they buy is cheap; it's about saving money and the portions are small. The breakfast cereal is like chewing cardboard and tastes of nothing. I have to eat bread and butter to fill me out."

The report also found that residents didn't were left "bored" by not being able to take part in regular activities. 

Some peoples activity records were not completed or documented no activities for several days.

The report read: "Some people told us they were bored and were observed moving round the home without purpose.

"One person told us, "The transport is broken. I don't know if we are getting new ones. Staff are always at meetings and it's hard to do anything.""

While another person said: "I have a care plan, but I'd like more choice as I don't do much." 

Shortcomings over the suitability of the service were also highlighted.

Inspectors encountered areas of the home where people in wheelchairs often blocked each other’s way, while many bathrooms were “not adapted to be used independently due to a lack of handrails and space to use wheelchairs”.

However, the facility’s two bungalows – which are set to remain operational after the main building closes – were found to be fully wheelchair accessible.

Staff were said to be respectful of people’s privacy and they “worked with people to gain their views on their support plans and on the care being provided on a regular basis.”

But another issue noted with the service was the high proportion of agency staff that the care home relied on. This meant that workers were often changing and people had to reexplain their needs to staff.

One person said to the inspector: “There’s so many agency staff, it’s different every day.”