Care home in Radlett issued formal warning by CQC

A care home in Radlett has received a formal warning from CQC

A care home in Radlett has received a formal warning from CQC - Credit: Archant

A care home in Radlett has received a formal warning after an inspection revealed a catalogue of failures, including a lack of hygiene and staff ignoring elderly residents’ requests for help.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has demanded swift improvement from Houndswood House Care Home, Harper Lane, after the independent health and adult social care regulator found it did not meet national standards.

Inspectors visited the home in August this year and, according to a report released today (Friday), have told Houndswood that it must improve the care and welfare of residents.

Action is needed in areas including cleanliness and infection control, management of medicines and staffing levels.

Houndswood House provides accommodation for people who need nursing and personal care, including those with dementia. It has two separate units in the home – Magnolia Lodge for people with dementia and Primrose House for people requiring nursing care. Both units are staffed separately.

The CQC report said residents were not always treated with dignity and respect, and that shifts were not always fully covered.

During the inspection CQC representatives noticed a “smell of urine throughout the home”.

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The report explained: “We were told there were some individuals who frequently urinated in the corridors. This meant the person’s continence care was not managed appropriately. We observed a soiled incontinence pad had been left underneath the cushion of one person’s chair.”


• Not all residents had a call bell, and some were placed out of reach, so not all could call for help when needed;

• In Primrose House, inspectors observed “very little interaction between staff and residents”. Staff frequently ignored people’s requests for help and investigators saw one person being shouted at by a nurse;

• Some people did not have pressure relieving cushions while sitting in communal areas;

• Cuts and wounds were not always dressed following correct procedure, which meant they might not heal properly;

• A clinical sharps waste bin in Magnolia Lodge had a lid missing, which meant people could have accessed clinical waste, exposing them to the risk of injury or infection.

A review of “do not resuscitate” forms found that although one person was assessed as having capacity to make decisions their form was instead signed by a relative and nurse at the home.

If the required improvements are not made within a set timeframe CQC has a range of enforcement powers including restricting the services that a provider can offer, or suspending or cancelling a service.

In a statement a Four Seasons spokeswoman said: “We deeply regret that the quality of care at Houndswood House Care Home fell short of the standards we expect to deliver. The home is implementing an extremely comprehensive action plan to address the CQC’s recommendations.”

She said this included having more staff on duty, improved interaction with residents and extension of the activities programme.

Improvements that had already been made since the inspection included the recording and management of medication, care plans and records and communication.

The spokeswoman said that residents’ weight was being monitored weekly, to pick up quickly on any weight loss.

She added: “There has been a deep clean and replacement of flooring. We will continue to work with the relevant authorities to ensure that we meet the CQC’s standards.”