VULNERABLE residents of a care home near Newquay were left in chairs for up to nine hours and at risk of dehydration this summer, a report has revealed.
Holywell Bay Nursing Home, run by Newport Care Ltd, could face closure following inspections by government watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in May and July.
Inspectors discovered the home had failed to adequately protect patients with dementia and mental health problems – and even witnessed people trapped in a lift.
A report following the July inspection stated that while some improvements had been made since May, action was still needed in all seven key areas, which include standard of care, respect, nutrition, staffing, site safety and safeguarding against abuse.
New admissions were suspended in May and Cornwall Council and NHS Kernow, which fund 48 placements at the home, are now carrying out weekly visits to ensure residents' safety.
The CQC carried out a further inspection on October 9 and is expected to publish its findings within the next few weeks.
The inspection report from the visit on July 15 and 16 lists numerous concerns, including inaccurate reports such as food and fluid charts, a lack of qualified and skilled staff, and residents left without enough water.
It states: “We witnessed people were left sat in specialist chairs for up to nine hours without either receiving personal care or being moved to relieve pressure to ensure people did not develop pressure sores…People were at risk of dehydration as there were not enough drinks offered throughout the day in the hot weather.”
Inspectors also spoke to three members of staff standing outside the lift, which had broken “again” with an employee and resident inside.
The report states: “The lift did move to the ground floor shortly afterwards and we witnessed a member of staff and a service user come out of the lift. The member of staff was distressed and stated ‘I am not using that lift again’. The manager told us a new lift had been ordered.”
Paul Tatla, a spokesman for Newport Care, said the home was working closely with Cornwall Council, NHS Kernow, relatives of residents and healthcare professionals, who had commended the “significant improvements to date and support our work in progress”.
He added: " Our focus is on delivering excellent care to our residents and remaining a valuable local employer. We recognise that we need to make improvements to our service and are working hard to do so. [The CQC] judged the home fully compliant with standards in January 2013. We have acted on issues raised by CQC since the summer, investing significantly in the home. We are disappointed that CQC is not acknowledging the real improvements that have been achieved."
In a joint statement, Cornwall Council and NHS Kernow said: "We continue to closely monitor developments and improve standards. Multi-agency weekly monitoring visits are taking place and we are monitoring the home's progress meeting an improvement plan.”
The CQC has a range of enforcement powers it can use if standards are not met, although any decision it makes can be challenged by Newport Care. New admissions remain suspended.