Coronavirus: Care home probed over 15 deaths rated 'inadequate'

Temple Court care home
Image caption Temple Court said it had been "completely overwhelmed" by Covid-19

A care home at the centre of a police investigation after the deaths of 15 residents during the coronavirus pandemic has been rated inadequate.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) identified "serious failings which led to people suffering harm" at Temple Court care home in Kettering.

The home was closed in May amid serious concerns from the CQC after a major coronavirus outbreak.

Temple Court said it had been "completely overwhelmed" by Covid-19.

"We are astonished the CQC report has chosen to disregard the reason why standards at Temple Court deteriorated - the home was completely overwhelmed due to the Covid-19 epidemic," a spokesman said.

"An influx of residents from the NHS in late March led to an outbreak of Covid-19 which affected existing residents and a large proportion of staff, including the manager and entire senior team.

"This left the home disproportionately reliant on the use of available agency staff, with very little opportunity to adequately train them on our policies and procedures."

'Unexplained injuries'

Inspectors who visited Temple Court on 12 and 13 May found the care home had not informed the CQC about serious incidents without delay, including when people died or suffered injuries.

The CQC found residents' health had deteriorated through a lack of oversight at the home and an insufficient understanding of residents' needs.

Deanna Westwood, CQC head of inspection for adult social care, said: "Our inspection of Temple Court identified serious failings which led to people suffering harm."

She said the situation at the home was "unacceptable" and added the service was not currently in use and no new residents would be admitted "unless we are fully assured that they can be cared for safely".

The CQC report said people had been malnourished and dehydrated because of poor management of their diets.

It said the home admitted 15 people when it did not have resources to meet their needs, while several people had to go to hospital with dehydration.

Other failings included observations not always being completed, staff not always seeking medical care when it was needed, infection prevention and control - including relating to catheter care - not being well managed, and insufficient measures to protect people from falls.

All of the home's 21 residents were moved out by the end of the second day of the inspection.

That decision was made by the Nene Clinical Commissioning Group and Northamptonshire County Council.

Evidence of unexplained injuries found by the CQC inspectors were being looked into by the county council as part of an investigation under section 42 of the Care Act, which would happen in cases when there were allegations of abuse or neglect.

Northamptonshire Police said it was working with the county council to investigate the home.

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