Inspectors have slammed a Moray care home that left residents waiting more than 12 hours for food or drink – and even longer for a bath.
The Care Inspectorate has released a damning report on Cathay Care Home accusing staff of failing to protect residents.
They said a “staffing crisis” meant the needs of those living at the home, near Forres, were not being met and also pinpointed under-trained and pressured staff as underlying problems.
Inspectors also raised concerns that the service and standard of care at the home had “deteriorated” since their last visit in June – despite demands for improvements being made then.
Last night the directors of the home operators, Care Concern Ltd, vowed to drastically improve standards and said it was now under new management.
During their unannounced visit, inspectors spoke to some of the 30 older people living at the home, which has capacity for 42.
One told them they only got “one bath a week, and sometimes didn’t get one.”
And while food at the home was generally thought to be good, another service user described their living experience as being “awful the last few weeks”.
The inspectors said: “We found there were insufficient staff on duty, staff morale was low and staff were very busy and under extreme pressure.
“Residents were having to wait long periods before they got help to get up or go to the toilet.
“There were several incidences where residents were left in their rooms until almost lunch time as there were insufficient staff to help them through to the lounge.
“Some residents and relatives spoke to us about baths not being given, being unable to find out when their relative had last had a shower and of personal care and nail care being poor. There were several incidences where residents were left in their rooms until almost lunch time as there were insufficient staff to help them through to the lounge.
“We saw examples where some residents seemed to have gone for up to 12 hours or more with nothing to eat or drink. There was a lack of documentation to support otherwise although the management felt that this would not have been the case and it was more a recording issue.
“There was currently a staff crisis within the home which the provider and management were actively trying to resolve.”
Inspectors rated the quality of care and support, staffing, management and leadership as “weak”, while describing the environment as “adequate”.
However, their report acknowledged some positive feedback from residents and their families.
They stated: “We received some positive feedback from relatives and residents that we spoke with about some of the staff.
“We saw some positive interactions between some staff and residents.
“There was a good choice of meals and the feedback we received about the food was generally complimentary.”
Last night a relative of a former resident at the home, who did not want to be named, admitted she was not surprised by the findings in the report.
She said: “Staffing levels, and in particular the amount of agency staff filling in for carers, were a frequent concern during our relative’s stay at Cathay.
“It is important for elderly residents with complex needs to be familiar with carers and nurses, but the high staff turnover at Cathay made this very difficult to achieve.
“I can only hope that the inspection report will spur on the management to make vast changes to improve the experience of their current residents.”
A spokeswoman for Care Concern said: “The home is currently working closely with older peoples services in the area to improve standards across the board.
“External health clinicians, social work, residents and their families along with staff and new management have commented on the significant improvements that have already been noted in short timescale from the date inspection.”