Hatfield care home ‘inadequate’ says care watchdog

PUBLISHED: 08:55 17 January 2019

Howe Dell Manor care home. Picture: DANNY LOO

Howe Dell Manor care home. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

A Hatfield care home for people with mental health conditions has been found ‘inadequate’ according to its latest Care Quality Commission report.

Howe Dell Manor is run by Nouvita, which has seven care homes and hospitals.

The converted manor house in Old Rectory Drive provides a home for up to 19 people with mental health conditions.

In a report published last month, the home was deemed ‘inadequate’ in terms of safety and leadership.

The service also ‘required improvement’ with regards to effectiveness, care and responsiveness.

The unannounced CQC inspection determined that “the service was not safe” because risk to residents were not appropriately assessed and managed.

Records seen by inspectors showed that one person living at Howe Dell had lost three kilograms in one week but no action had been taken to monitor this.

Similarly, a record of unexplained scratches to the body had reportedly not been followed up.

The report also found that staff had received “insufficient training to meet individuals’ needs” and that the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 were not adhered to.

Examples outlined in the findings referred to a resident’s lack of autonomy over their own finances and that residents “were not free to leave the building when they wanted”.

In order for a mental health unit to restrict liberty, it is required to apply for a special Deprivation of Liberty Safegaurd known as ‘DoLS’.

Concerns were raised in the report over the conditions lawfully set and staff awareness of how to support service users with restricted liberty.

Furthermore, a resident who was identified as requiring a nutritious diet and had a dietary plan in place was offered sweets as an alternative to what had been offered.

The inspection found that “no-one had considered making, storing and offering foods this person enjoyed”.

The CQC also said that the language used by staff within care records did not always promote people’s dignity.

Activities on offer to residents were “not enough” according to one staff member who told inspectors: “Who wants to stay in here seven days a week?

“Watching TV is a daily thing, but to have a normal life they need to go out, they expect more from us.”

A Nouvita spokesman said: “We are naturally disappointed with the CQC rating from October 2018. Together with the CQC and our local partnership trust, our action plan was agreed and implemented at the beginning of November and both continue to work with us to make the necessary improvements.

“We apologise to all those that have a vested interest in the service that Howe Dell provides, but most importantly to those individuals that reside here and we assure them that we are committed to improving the service.”

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