Under-fire Washington care home is improving

Washington Grange Care Home in Barmston, Washington.
Washington Grange Care Home in Barmston, Washington.
Have your say

A CARE home criticised in a damning report has been praised after a second inspection.

The Washington Grange, in Barmston, came under scrutiny by watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after inspectors found pensioners were being washed and dressed by night staff in the early hours of the morning because colleagues on the day shift did not have enough time.

Inspectors visiting the 40-bed care home after an anonymous tip-off found at least 15 residents up when they visited before 6am, most of them asleep in armchairs.

A report from October saw the home fail on four out of five Government standards.

It said: “We had received information from an anonymous source alleging that people suffering from dementia were being woken, taken out of bed and then washed and dressed from 4am onwards irrespective of their wishes or care needs.

“Due to their mental health problems these people were unable to protest and the informant stated ‘even if they did, they would have no option anyway’.”

Inspectors also found that just three night staff were on duty to look after 37 people.

A former care worker from the home, who turned whistleblower, contacted the Echo to say how shocked they were by the initial report.

They said: “I wanted people to be aware of what was going on. I don’t work in care any more, so I’ve got no grudges.”

But an unannounced follow-up visit in December revealed major improvements at the home.

The former worker said: “The outcome of the new report is great. I’m pleased that something has come out about it.

“For me the residents always came first. I was getting them up at 3.30am. It was ridiculous.”

The second report saw the home pass all five Government markers.

It said: “The atmosphere was relaxed, peaceful and seasonal throughout the home. Staff were relaxed and told us how they were able to attend to individual needs and requests without feeling under pressure.

“They knew about people’s individual preferences and normal routines and described how these were adhered to.”

However, the report writer did recommend that staffing levels be monitored and ask the owners to report back to the CQC within 14 days.

The home is owned by Barchester Healthcare, which cares for more than 10,000 people at more than 200 different locations.

A spokeswoman for the company said: “At Washington Grange care home the well-being of our residents is of the utmost importance.

“We’re very pleased to have received this well-balanced report from the Care Quality Commission which highlights the high standards of the care provided to the residents of Washington Grange.

“It also reflects the commitment and great work of the team at Washington Grange care home.”

Twitter: @janethejourno