A CARE home has been put into special measures after being rated as ‘inadequate’ by government healthcare inspectors.

Bracknell Care Home, which is managed by Four Seasons, received the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) lowest possible rating and its service was judged not to be safe, effective or well-led after a December inspection.

READ MORE: Students sent home to self-isolate over coronavirus fears

CQC examiners found those living at the care home, on Crowthorne Road, were at “risk of avoidable harm” because:

  • Medicines were not managed properly
  • Residents were at risk of falls
  • Managers did not ensure all staff had the necessary competence, skills or expertise
  • There was not enough staff available to keep residents safe

Bracknell News:

In one instance during the inspection, which was unannounced, the CQC reported one person was forced to wait more than a quarter of an hour to get help to go to the toilet.

On other occasions, residents claimed they only saw staff when they were being supported, leaving them “without purposeful engagement” and in some cases, left to watch children’s TV.

These findings did not surprise one carer who has had recent experience of working at the care home and who did not wish to be named.

READ MORE: Former Bracknell Forest councillor passes away

They told the News the care home was “understaffed” but those who do work there “do their best”.

They added: “The house is falling apart.

“What worries me is the residents don’t even have basic needs met.”

Bracknell News:

“None of us would like to see our grandparents treated like this.

“It is a sad picture.”

The carer also said staff “are not properly trained” because Four Seasons "does not invest in training" for its employees.

CQC inspectors found training had not been completed in a number of areas, including:

  • 11 out of 23 staff had not completed their practical moving and handling course
  • 19 out of 23 had not completed the anaphylaxis course
  • 17 out of 23 staff had not completed the malnutrition in older people course

READ MORE: Mum fundraises for son to play football in safe environment

Inspectors discovered one person had lost weight because staff prepared them meals they did not like, meaning they often left “large quantities” of their meal.

Most of the 23 staff had completed training in diversity and equality, however, but “failed to recognise that people's diversity was not being explored” leading to residents being unable to practice their faiths and religious diets being “mixed up”.

Bracknell News:

The CQC’s report suggests the home is not equipped to care for residents with dementia, and inspectors found “signage indicating where specific rooms were, such as toilets, bathrooms, lounge, [and the] kitchen was missing. There were no memory boards to assist people to their own bedrooms.”

“This had a direct impact on the quality of life of the people using the service.

READ MORE: Three men arrested in Bracknell after car parts theft

“The service was not making the necessary changes to accommodate the majority of people's changing needs, leading to people experiencing further confusion and increased anxiety.”

Bracknell Care Home was last inspected in December 2018 and rated as ‘requiring improvement’.

Since then, a new senior management team has been installed at the facility, and although the CQC notes the carers “envisaged making changes” to the service, “this was yet to be actioned”.

Bracknell News:

Another anonymous carer, who worked at Bracknell Care Home for more than a year but left a few months ago, laid the blame at the door of Four Seasons.

They said: “I went through four different managers, each one more eager than the next to help the slightly below average care home and each one who wanted to make a difference.

"[They were] stopped in their tracks by Four Seasons with outdated rules and regulations and how much paperwork there is, every job has paperwork but most care homes have updated and moved onto technology or made it simpler, Four Seasons won't let care homes move on and better themselves.

READ MORE: Boy taken to hospital after motorbike and pushchair involved in crash

"[They] would rather suck the soul out of them, the carers care don't have the right tools and managers have great ideas and plans that Four Seasons refuse to pursue."

A spokesperson from Four Seasons told the News the issues raised from the report were “not reflective” of the “high standards we expect”.

Bracknell News:

They added: “We take our responsibility as a care provider very seriously and will always take swift action when improvement is needed.

“We have thoroughly reviewed the findings in this report and have developed an action plan to address the specific concerns highlighted by the inspectors.

“Our senior specialists will be working with our colleagues at the home to ensure they’re fully supported to implement this plan successfully.

“As ever, the care and wellbeing of our residents is our primary focus.”

Responding to comments made by former care home employees, the spokesperson said Four Seasons was “fully aware” of need for “further improvement” and plans are in place to redecorate the communal areas.

The spokesperson continued: “We’re also holding regular meetings with residents and their families to keep them updated on our progress.

“We welcome any and all feedback from our colleagues and would encourage them to work with us to take action on any relevant suggestions.”

Bracknell Care Home has been placed into special measures, meaning the service is under review and will be re-inspected in six months.

The CQC says if “significant improvements” are not made, it will move to stop the care home from operating.