Grantham care home told it must improve

Birchwood Retirement Home, Dudley Road, Grantham
Birchwood Retirement Home, Dudley Road, Grantham
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A retirement home in Grantham has been told it must improve following a healthcare watchdog inspection.

Cleanliness, poor storage of medicines and a lack of stimulation for residents were points raised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following an assessment of Birchwood Retirement Home, in Dudley Road.

However, there was also praise, including the ‘warm, homely atmosphere’, caring staff and of the manager for being a ‘positive role model’.

Birchwood, a home which cares for up to 17 people including dementia sufferers, was inspected on August 25 and September 1.

In the report published last Wednesday, the home was graded ‘requires improvement’ in being safe, effective, responsive and well-led. It was graded ‘good’ in being caring.

Cleanliness was a key concern. The report stated: “Although the provider’s cleaning schedule specified that sinks, toilets and bathrooms were to be cleaned daily, in some communal bathrooms we found crystallised urine under the toilet seats indicating they had not been cleaned for some time.

“We found dead insects in some of the baths and sinks and cracked, peeling grouting on one of the bath surrounds.

“Although the provider had also specified that high dusting was to be completed daily as required, we found high level cobwebs throughout the home that had clearly also been there for some time.

“Skirting boards and other surfaces were dusty and the carpet in the main downstairs corridor was extremely dirty in places, particularly outside the kitchen where it was sticky underfoot from ground-in dirt.”

It was also noted that medicines were not stored or disposed of correctly, nor was there enough communal activities or entertainment to stimulate residents.

However, throughout the report staff were praised and the manager was commended for taking immediate or planned steps to rectify problems raised by the CQC.

The report also said: “Everyone we spoke with told us that staff were caring and kind towards them. One person told us, ‘They’re very good to us.’ Another person said, ‘The staff here are fantastic.’ One person’s relative said, ‘They are very caring and have so much patience. I take my hat off to them.’”

Birchwood has been in the Dunmore family for 30 years, with Christopher Dunmore having owned and managed it for the last 20.

Mr Dunmore told the Journal he was disappointed with the overall grade given by the inspector and felt it did not reflect the positive feedback included in the report.

He added: “I’ve had 20 years of cracking reports.

“I’m really, really hurt by it to be quite honest. With it being my own business, I do the very best I can.

“I’ve got excellent, caring staff and very high standards. We don’t go a month without having a training course and [the staff] are all NVQ level 2 trained.”

On the issue of cleanliness, Mr Dunmore said at the time of the inspection the home was ‘in between cleaners’ and went on to praise the new cleaner recruited recently.