Local news source Get Surrey has reported that blocked fire escapes and insufficient numbers of staff trained in fire safety were just some of the failings identified at Avens Court Nursing Home in Pyrford.
Inspectors found the fire precautions in a Woking care home so bad that emergency safety work had to be undertaken to avoid residents being moved out that day.
Blocked fire escapes and inadequate numbers of staff trained in fire safety were just some of the failings identified at Avens Court Nursing Home in Pyrford, following visits by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in November and December.
Dusty premises and ‘soiled’ curtains were also criticised in the report, which rated the home on Broomcroft Drive as ‘requiring improvement’. The safety of the service was branded ‘inadequate’.
The report said: “The inspection was carried out over three days because on the first day we identified serious failings with regard to the health and safety of the premises.
“In particular, we had significant concerns about the way fire safety was being managed.
“For example, we found that fire escapes were blocked, not enough staff were trained in fire safety and actions from the fire risk assessments were outstanding.
“We therefore spoke with the local fire service and requested that they visit the service with us.
“The conclusion of the fire inspection was that there were multiple failings in the prevention, detection and evacuation systems at the service.
“As a result, emergency work had to be carried out that day in order to allow people to remain living in the service.”
The company which owns Avens Court, Surrey Rest Homes Ltd, this week refused to comment on the CQC report, which also pointed out maintenance failures which put residents at risk.
“For example, window restrictors were not robust enough to protect the people living in the service from the risk of falling out of them,” according to the inspectors.
“This had been highlighted to the provider in 2014, but no action had been taken to address the risk.”
Aside from safety issues, the state of the premises was another area of criticism, with the report highlighting cracked windows, damaged paintwork and holes in ceilings, with stained and damaged carpets and other soft furnishings.
“We found that floors in communal areas were stained and unclean underfoot,” said the report.
“The surfaces in bedrooms were thick with dust and there was no plan to clean hard-to-reach areas such as skirtings.”
Inspectors also raised concerns over staffing levels and the effect it had on residents’ dignity and the stimulation they received, with the report noting: “Staff did not always take appropriate steps to ensure the privacy of those people sharing a bedroom.
“Similarly, when staff forgot to shut the door when supporting one person to use the toilet.”
However, the inspectors said that staff and most relatives were confident that the new manager, who took over last August, was including them in the decisions being made to improve the quality of care.
They noted that steps were being taken to provide a more ‘personalised approach’ to care.
The inspectors have now set out a list of regulation breaches that the Avens Court will be expected to address.
The home has been ordered to send the CQC a report outlining what action it is taking.