Care home is ‘like a prison’

Elm Royd Care Home, Brighouse.
Elm Royd Care Home, Brighouse.

A care home for the elderly described as “like a prison” by one of its residents has been placed in special measures.

A damning inspection report by the Care Quality Commission found a string of failings in the care of people at Elm Royd Nursing Home in Brighouse.

The home on Brighouse Wood Lane, which had 34 residents when inspected, could lose its licence after being rated “inadequate” by the health watchdog.

There were not enough staff at the home, where residents were served cold meals and medicines had run out during a two-day inspection in October.

Dirty conditions at the home, which is owned by Eldercare (Halifax) Ltd, were also criticised by CQC inspectors.

Their report said: “We saw soiled and wet bedding on the floor in two people’s bedrooms and found one person’s ensuite to be heavily soiled with faeces.

“This was despite a member of care staff sitting in the person’s room with them.”

Residents were found with unkempt hair and not dressed properly. There were examples of staff failing to help residents maintain their dignity and personal care.

The report said: “We saw toothbrushes hard and dry and in one case full of hair which would indicate that staff had failed to support people to brush their teeth.”

One person told the inspectors: “I hate it here, it’s like prison. We do nothing just sit here all day.”

A visitor told the CQC they had no confidence in the nursing staff and were removing their relative from Elm Royd.

People at the home were not always helped to eat their food and take nutritional supplements.

After observing meals being served the inspectors reported: “When we asked staff to check if the meals were still warm, we found they were cold.

“Staff warmed the meals up in a microwave but only did this after our intervention.”

Some people at the home were not being given their prescribed medicines. The report said: “During both days of our inspection we found that some people’s medicines had run out.

“This included medicines which were essential to maintaining people’s health.”

Elm Royd advertises as providing specialist care for people with dementia, but the report said “we found little evidence to support this.”

Elm Lodge was rated “inadequate” for being safe and effective and “requires improvement” for being caring, responsive and well-led.

It will be inspected again within six months and must make “significant improvements.”

Eldercare (Halifax) Ltd was asked to comment but had not responded at the time the Echo went to press.