Great Bentley care home residents were at risk of being strangled or trapped, health watchdog finds

The Oaks Residential Home in Great Bentley. Picture: GOOGLE IMAGES

The Oaks Residential Home in Great Bentley. Picture: GOOGLE IMAGES - Credit: Archant

Poor practice at an Essex care home led to residents being put at risk of being trapped or strangled, a damning report by a health watchdog has found.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited The Oaks Residential Care Home in Great Bentley in August and September 2017 – and in a report released this week, they placed it in special measures.

CQC bosses are urging those in charge of the service to make improvements after inspectors discovered it was not safe, effective or responsive.

But the proprietor of the service, which is based in St Mary’s Road and cares for people with dementia, said that although he disputes some of the watchdog’s findings, the home has taken swift action.

Inspectors said poor practice regarding the use of protective aprons and bibs put people at risk of harm.

The report states: “We observed that staff had put tabard style aprons on to three people in order to protect their clothes whilst eating.

“These were not of a type to enable quick release should they become caught and hung over the back of people’s chairs.

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“There was a risk that material could be caught in handles of wheelchairs or risk of others pulling the back of the bib intentionally or unintentionally.

“This placed people at risk of entrapment or strangulation.”

One resident was at a severe risk of dehydration and malnutrition as a result of not being monitored appropriately, inspectors added.

The proprietor, who did not want to be named, said the aprons and bibs mentioned by inspectors were removed quickly.

He added: “The bibs were removed straight away, but we did have the bibs during previous inspections and there were no problems so I’m not sure why they have come up now.

“We do dispute some of the findings in the report, and with regards to the person that they say was at risk of being malnourished, this person had actually only been in our care for six weeks and their BMI had improved in that time.

“I do feel that I need to say something about the great crisis we are facing in social care, which is leading to staff shortages.

“There is not enough funding in our sector at all and you wonder why so many care homes are inadequate, there is just not enough money.

“The social care sector often has to pick up the pieces when the NHS is struggling too, you have to think about that.”

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