Mental health care home Chesterholm Lodge closed after damning watchdog report

PEOPLE with mental health conditions have been moved out of a home after a damning inspection found they were sleeping in broken beds, using dirty towels and food was scarce.

Sunday, 5th January 2020, 4:30 pm

Whistleblowers raised the alarm about Chesterholm Lodge prompting an unannounced inspection from the Care Quality Commission.

Six regulation breaches were found at the understaffed home where an 'altercation' went on between two residents unstopped by busy staff.

The owner has now shut the home.

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Chesterholm Lodge in Lee-on-the-Solent Picture: Ian Hargreaves (291219-1)

Ready access to snacks was impossible, with a scarcity of food and the supplies they did have kept locked away outside of meal times.

One person had lost three-and-a-half stone in nine months, the CQC's report found.

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Desperate residents asked inspectors to sort out the lack of food on the first day of the inspection.

Chesterholm Lodge in Lee-on-the-Solent Picture: Ian Hargreaves (291219-1)

One person said: ‘There is hardly any food here, all we eat is chips and sandwiches.’

Maureen Bush, 64, worked at the care home for 20 years before leaving in January 2019.

‘You wouldn’t even treat animals this way,’ she said.

No manager was in place until the third day of the inspection, the previous one having left at the end of September and a replacement only stayed for a week.

Residents said staff were kind. Workers told the CQC they felt too stretched with not enough staff in place.

A health care professional told inspectors: ‘There is a disheartened staff team who don't know what they are doing.’

Staff training was ‘insufficient’, grubby conditions posed a risk of infection and one non-smoker was sleeping in cigarette burnt bed sheets.

Since the inspection visits on November 18, 20 and 26 the 15 people at the home have been rehoused and the provider has shut down Britten Road home in Lee-on-the-Solent.

Former employee Stacey Bush, 39, said: ‘There were so many days where there was no food in the house.

‘Residents would ask us if there was anything to eat and we just had to say no – it was absolutely heartbreaking.

‘They slept in dirty, broken beds, sat in broken chairs and their towels were left dirty.

‘I’m glad this awful CQC report has brought it to light.’

Rebecca Bauers, CQC's head of adult social care inspection in the south, said: ‘The provider has informed CQC and the local authority of their intention to close the service on December 28.

‘Hampshire County Council have actively swiftly and supported people to move to alternative suitable placements that will meet their needs more appropriately in respect of quality and safety. CQC are working closely with all stakeholders to monitor the situation.’

The home was run by BSR London Ltd with company secretary Brahmdeo Ramana listed by the CQC as responsible for the service.

Mr Ramana did not respond to a request for comment.