They go into care homes in the hope they will be looked after.
But hundreds of pensioners and disabled people from Kirklees are being left in filthy conditions with little regard for their dignity, an Examiner investigation suggests.
Records held by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) reveal 27 care homes in and around Huddersfield have failed inspections this year.
The health watchdog has made dozens of unannounced visits and discovered vulnerable people not being taken care of properly.
At several homes, inspectors found unsafe levels of staffing, poor record keeping, untrained workers and dangerous facilities.
But they also witnessed multiple examples of uncaring staff, including incontinent residents being left uncleaned.
One of the worst performing care homes for the elderly was Abbey Place in Fartown.
At an inspection last June it failed to meet the standard in all but one category – management of medicines.
The home was deemed unsatisfactory in respecting residents, asking them to consent to treatment, caring for them, resident welfare, staffing, supporting workers and assessing and monitoring its own service.
The CQC report says staff there “showed very little regard” for residents.
An inspector witnessed three members of staff at the home fail to comfort a resident who had been incontinent and was crying.
Other people were seen with food on their faces, noses dripping on to clothes, unwashed or strongly smelling of urine.
Some residents were also kept in their bedrooms using locked baby safety gates.
The inspector discovered 48 of the 81 staff had not undertaken ‘Safeguarding Adults’ training in the last 12 months and none of them had done First Aid training in the last year.
Other training gaps were also noted in dementia awareness, diet and nutrition, moving and handling and 14 members of staff who were nominated to give medication had received no training.
Another poor performer was Norman Hudson Care Home at Lockwood, where a member of staff allegedly tried to dupe an inspector over whether a resident’s teeth had been brushed.
The report says care staff claimed the resident had refused, but when pressed by the inspector they tried to pass off a different resident’s toothbrush as evidence.
The home’s staff were also witnessed talking loudly about residents within their earshot.
At the same home, one person’s wedding photograph was found in a broken frame on their sink, many residents’ possessions and clothes were dirty and left thrown in the bottom of wardrobes, hot water was not working in two bathtubs and an electrical socket above a bed was coming off the wall.
Problems at a second Fartown home, Astley Grange, have also been highlighted by the CQC.
It found one nurse in charge of 18 residents while the manager and deputy manager were both off duty.
It also noted that medical and accident records were not always accurate.
A third Fartown home, Sun Woodhouse, failed to pass standards of cleanliness after an inspector noted filthy conditions in much of the premises.
The home was also deemed to be under-staffed and poorly managed.
Another home for the elderly, The Oakes Care Centre, was slated for failing to give its residents enough food and drink.
One resident had lost almost two stones in a month and another more than a stone over four months.
In Edgerton, Beechwood Care Home, which specialises in caring for adults with a physical disabilities, an inspector found a lack of carers on duty and shortcomings with documentation.
The only home to fail on all seven CQC categories was the Kirklees Council operated Claremont House in Heckmondwike.
At the time of the inspection none of the 59 staff who worked at the home had completed any safeguarding training in 2012.
A protocol to check a resident who was “doubly incontinent” during the night was not being followed and the home was judged to be generally unclean and foul smelling.
The CQC issued Claremont House with three “compliance actions”, ordering it to improve its arrangements for getting patients consent for care, cleanliness and infection control and having sufficient numbers of qualified staff.
In all, four of the council’s seven care homes failed some part of the inspection.
Other homes that didn’t meet the standard in 2013:
Colne Valley Residential, Milnsbridge
Thorpe House, Almondbury
The Flowers Hall, Lascelles Hall
St Winifreds, Rastrick
Norton House, Elland
Hopton Care Cottages, Lower Hopton
Fieldhead Park, Mirfield
Meadow Court, Slaithwaite
Bell House, Meltham
Cherry Trees, Shepley
Crescent Dale, Heckmondwike
Oxford Grange, Dewsbury
Stonehouse Manor, Dewsbury
Holme House, Gomersal.
Four ‘care in the home’ companies also failed inspections:
DNA Care Services, Huddersfield
Burgandy Care Services, Honley
North Kirklees Domicilary Care, Mirfield
Colne Valley Scheme, Slaithwaite.
This article was initially published on www.examiner.co.uk on 23/09/13 and was accurate at the point of publication. However inspections and reports by the CQC are published on an ongoing basis and as such, when you access the information in this story, it may have changed in the intervening period.
However you can check the latest CQC ratings by searching for care homes on their website here.
Some of the care homes told The Examiner they had been given a clean bill of health by the CQC since the reports earlier this year, but the reports had not yet been made public.
A spokesman for Orchard Care Homes, which operates Abbey Place, said: “We operate 74 homes throughout the UK and in spite of this recent report have 93% compliance across our homes, which is above the industry average.
“Obviously we were very concerned with the CQC findings and immediately put a plan in place to make improvements.
“Today Abbey Place is a completely different home from the one inspected by the CQC in June.
“We have a new manager, a new team and a fresh recruitment drive that is on-going.
“At a recent meeting of residents and their families we received unanimous positive feedback and overwhelming support.
“We continue to invest heavily in people, resources and funding at the home, with new initiatives including our ground breaking dementia village.
“The findings of the report are indefensible, and this is a one-off for Orchard.
“However we are not complacent and will continue to monitor the home very carefully through our own rigorous internal inspection and compliance procedures”
Jason Sykes, a director at Park Homes UK Ltd, who run Norman Hudson home, said the home was now fully compliant and they would welcome any visit from members of the public who wanted to check standards.
“We, our staff and our residents disagreed with the inspector’s findings at the time and found them to be materially incorrect and inaccurate,” he said.
“Good nursing homes are no different to people’s own homes and Norman Hudson is an example of one of the best.
“Care homes should not be measured on CQC findings alone, but instead on how much love, caring and affection is given to the residents in their final years.”
A spokesman for Mimosa Healthcare, who operate Astley Grange, said they had been working hard to implement the improvements outlined by the CQC and were now compliant.
He said: “Changes to some procedures with regard to our care plans have been instigated and the staffing levels have been reviewed and amended accordingly.
“Mimosa Healthcare takes the well-being of its residents extremely seriously and works hard to ensure that we provide a secure, safe and caring environment for our residents at all times.”
A spokesperson for The Oakes Care Centre, which was criticised last May for not feeding residents enough, said: “We are delighted that The Oakes is now fully compliant with CQC standards.
“Family comments recorded by the inspector in the recent CQC report are excellent and include: ‘meals were very good’ and ‘staff knew about people’s dietary needs and were checking to make sure that they were having enough to eat.
“Residents who are struggling to maintain their weight are encouraged to eat nourishing, appetising and fortified meals, little and often throughout the day with plenty of snacks available at all times.
“They are also referred to their medical practitioner for further support.”
A spokeswoman for Leonard Cheshire Disability also said Beechwood care home now met CQC standards.
She said: “A previous CQC report in June identified two areas where improvements were needed and we took action straight away to resolve these issues. The safety and welfare of those we support is always our first priority.”
Nobody from Sun Woodhouse Care Home was available for comment.
Kirklees Council said it was working hard to drive up care standards, especially at Claremont House.
A spokesperson said an action plan had been developed and additional support was given to the home in order to ensure the necessary improvements were made, including internal decoration and significant staff training.
The council said: “Whilst the report highlighted areas for improvement, it is important to stress that action was already under way to help us improve standards as a matter of urgency.
“Whilst we do not believe that residents were at risk, a safeguarding review was commissioned which checked the arrangements of care for every individual resident.
“All residents have received a review of their social care needs in consultation with their families.
“Immediate steps were also taken to strengthen management in the home, by bringing in expert help to ensure that improvements were made quickly.
“We carefully monitor the progress being made.
“We are continuing to keep residents and families informed about what we are doing and we have a new care home manager in post.
“Elected members have been keen to ensure improvements are made quickly.
“A report was taken to scrutiny and a follow up report in October will detail significant improvements.
“Our staff team will continue to work hard in order to maintain the highest standards of care that we expect.”
The responsibility for overseeing care homes is spread across a number of NHS organisations and local authorities.
A spokesperson for NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG and NHS North Kirklees CCG said: “Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have a responsibility for safeguarding both adults and children as part of a wider network of health and social care partners.
“Both CCGs have prioritised working with our partners, particularly Kirklees Council, the Care Quality Commission and our member GP practices to strengthen the monitoring processes of care homes in the local area.
“The CCGs will continue to work with all partners and care homes to improve standards and agree remedial actions if issues are identified which suggest residents could be harmed.”
Age UK, a charity campaigning for older people, said it was “awful” to hear some of Huddersfield’s care homes were neglecting the elderly.
Judith Churley, from the Kirklees and Calderdale branch of Age UK, said they often heard stories of poor standards in some care homes.
She said: “It’s absolutely not fair that some older people are not getting looked after properly.
“If that was your mum or dad how would you feel?”
Judith said the structure of the industry was a large part of the problem.
“It’s a low paid area to work in,” she said.
“Staff tend to change very quickly and they have constant staffing issues.
“There are also some homes who purely look at it as a business and not as ‘care’.
“But it’s obviously unacceptable for elderly people to be treated in this way.
“It’s the job of the CQC to check on that and if they’re not up to scratch then something needs to be done.
“We do have lots of information on care homes and people are welcome to come into our office.”
Age UK, formerly Age Concern and Help The Aged, is currently running a campaign dubbed ‘Care In Crisis’ in a bid to ensure that every older person is able to get the care they need.
According to Age UK there are over 800,000 older people who are unable to get the care they need for one reason or another.
The charity delivered a petition of 130,000 signatures to the Prime Minister last year along with a mass lobby of Parliament involving 1,000 older and disabled people.
Since then the government has announced the Care Bill which proposes a cap on the cost of care and closer links between the health service and social care.
Age UK’s Huddersfield office is on Upperhead Row near the bus station.
You can call in between 10am and 4pm to find out information including on: insurance and energy, a handyperson service, legal advice, and mobility and living aids.
Telephone 01484 535 994.
Failing care homes are highlighted to help families.
The Care Quality Commission said roughly a quarter of care homes failed their inspections.
She said: “The Care Quality Commission’s role is to inspect health and social care services and assess their compliance with the national standards; and in doing so, highlight where the safety and wellbeing of people using services may be at risk so improvements can be made.
“Where we find that standards are not being met we take action to ensure a provider implements improvements.
“We then follow up to check whether these improvements have been made and are being sustained.
“Our inspectors seek the views of people using the services and, if appropriate, family members.
“In addition, inspectors may be accompanied by experts – either subject matter experts or ‘experts by experience’ (people who have in-depth experience of using services).
“We obtain intelligence from what we find when visiting a service as well as information from partner agencies such as the local authority, or commissioners of services, user groups, and other stakeholders.”