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holmdalehouse2Hampshire Constabulary have launched an investigation into the deaths of 5 former care home residents following an alarming report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) stating that Holmdale House in Havenstreet is inadequate across the board.

A joint investigation involving Police, the Isle of Wight Council and the Isle of Wight Coroner has been launched after an unannounced inspection, carried out by the CQC in December, found the home to leaving residents in pain for long periods of time in an understaffed, unsafe environment.

cqclogoThe 5 deaths being looked at occurred between November last year and January of this year.

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Shockingly, the CQC report has found that the care home is inadequate in being safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. During the inspection it was found that:

[alert-warning]• Staff had not received training in safeguarding adults and most were unaware how to report abuse outside the home

• People did not receive their medicines at the correct times or when they required them

• The failure to have adequate systems in place to manage soiled laundry placed people at risk of infection

• Appropriate recruitment procedures were not in place with staff working without a DBS check

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• There were insufficient staff with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to meet people’s needs

• Care plans did not always reflect their current needs and how their health and personal care needs should be met

• Staff were not receiving the induction training and supervision they required to give them the necessary skills to meet people’s needs effectively

• The principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 were not being followed

• Staff did not communicate effectively with people living with dementia. They had not undertaken training relating to communication and dementia awareness

• People’s privacy and dignity were not always respected and staff did not always ensure this whilst providing personal care

• Action was not taken when people had a fall or where they were noted to have bruising or injuries of unknown cause[/alert-warning]

In addition, emergency and fire safety arrangements were found to be inadequate and staff had not undertaken fire awareness training and new staff were unsure what action they should take should the fire alarms sound.

Out of a total of 30 residents living at the care home in the sleepy village of Havenstreet, just 3 now remain at the property, however efforts are being made to find alternative accommodation for them.

Despite the damming report, positives were found in that the choice of meals available were of good quality and that staff were compassionate and kind.

Photograph: Malc McDonald

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