Care home inadequate due to fire safety concerns
Posted 24/02/2016 by Macdonald Martin Ltd.
After an inspection at a care home, in Crickdale, Wiltshire, it was found that it was inadequate due to a number of problems including fire safety breaches. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has put special measures in place for the premise. The inspectors were concerned about the potential fire risks found such as residents smoking in rooms causing the fire alarm to go off regularly.
The report states “Due to the frequency of these alarms people in the service were not responding. There was a covered area for smoking, but people in the service did not use this often and mostly smoked in their bedrooms. During the inspection, the fire alarm went off and only the inspectors and staff left the premises. All people in the service remained in the house. A member of staff said the fire alarm goes off regularly during the night. People were free to leave the building as they wished and did not sign out. Therefore, staff would be unsure who was in the house in the event of fire.”
The bedrooms were heavily littered with rubbish and due to the state of the bedrooms, the fire risk was increased. Roxanne Duff, aged 24, resigned 12 months ago from being a mental health recovery worker at the care home because of the unsafe working conditions. Roxanne said “I left after complaints sent to my manager regarding safety and lack of control measures were ignored repeatedly. My concerns were not taken seriously and I hope that other care homes can learn from the mistakes made here and take safety more seriously. I am glad the CQC were able to find out for themselves how unsafe the service is.”
The report added “This presented a risk due to people smoking in their rooms and the amount of flammable items which increased the risk of fire further. As room checks had not taken place these conditions were not being effectively monitored and managed. The fire risk assessment had been reviewed in March 2015 and rated as medium risk. The protection policy stated that all tenants should adhere to the smoking policy, which said no one is allowed to smoke within the house unless an assessment is carried out and that fire checks should be done weekly.”
Fire checks were completed weekly but it was stated in the log book that the alarm was “set off by person in room smoking”. The inspection saw no evidence that was followed up or actions that were taken to mitigate further risks. During the inspection the fire alarm activated, inspectors and staff evacuated the building but the residents were left inside.
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