Resident abandoned in Stepney care home toilet

Care-home Sue Starkey House recently received a damning report by the Care Quality Commission.

Care-home Sue Starkey House recently received a damning report by the Care Quality Commission. - Credit: Archant

An elderly resident at a Stepney nursing home was forced to telephone family members from its toilet after staff left them abandoned on a commode for more than an hour between shifts.

The shocking lack of care is just one of the failings revealed in a report by the health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), following an inspection of Sue Starkey House, on West Arbour Street.

It provides sheltered accommodation for 40 elderly and younger residents with disabilities including dementia, mental health problems and substance abuse.

Checks found it was failing in six out of 10 specific areas. The CQC warned immediate action needed to be taken to ­improve its provision of welfare.

The report describes how residents “did not experience care, treatment and support that met their needs and protected their rights.” In addition to the resident abandoned in the toilets, care notes also showed significant failings over the safety and availability of equipment, ­requiring further immediate action.

Staff minutes dated August 2012 left instructions for one resident not to be showered or bathed until proper equipment was in place, yet almost a year later these had still not been installed.

A spokesman for the CQC said: “We will return to Sue Starkey House unannounced in due course to check whether the required improvements have been made, and can take tougher action if the problems persist at that inspection.”

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Action was also needed in four other areas said the report – respecting and involving people who used services, management of medicines, staffing and records.

If the home fails to improve it faces the threat of fines, limits to patient numbers or even closure.

Three inspections were carried out between June and July with the home caring for 35 residents at the time, before the report’s publication last month.

Notting Hill Housing Association manages the home. Group director, Kath King, said: “We were very concerned to learn that some of our services were not to our usual high standards. We have acted immediately to implement a robust action plan and are now compliant with all the standards highlighted in the report.”