A care home in Kirklees has been judged understaffed and unsafe.

Ashworth Grange was rated ‘inadequate’ overall by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following a visit in January and has now been placed in special measures.

The home, which then had 60 residents, received ‘inadequate’ ratings (the lowest) for its safety, effectiveness and leadership and ‘requires improvement’ for its responsiveness to patients’ needs and national protocols.

Ashworth Grange, run by Leeds-based Ideal Carehomes, received a ‘good’ rating for its caring approach to residents.

But the CQC report repeatedly expressed concern that staffing shortages were compromising safety at the home on Ashworth Green, Dewsbury.

The home has now been placed in special measures and if there is no improvement, it may be forced to close.

The report noted that residents were left unattended for long periods after sounding their call bells – one for 40 minutes.

It said: “People and relatives consistently told us there were not enough staff.

“We saw this throughout the day as we observed the length of time to answer call bells and also periods when communal areas were left unattended.

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“This was also stated by staff who felt under pressure to deliver all their key tasks and were aware of people being left unmonitored.

“Call bells were not responded to promptly due to lack of staff availability, and in one instance because staff said they had not heard it.

“The longest response time we noted was 40 minutes.

“We observed one carer going into a different room to assist someone despite the call bell for the room opposite having been ringing for 20 minutes at this point.”

The inspector also noted there had been a large number of falls at the home which had not been reported to the CQC, as was required.

The CQC inspector noted that one resident had lost 7.4kg (1st 2lb) in two months.

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The inspector also noted ‘a strong odour in parts of the home which had been attempted to be masked by rather overpowering air fresheners’.

Amanda Richardson, Regional Director of Ideal Carehomes, said: “Ideal Carehomes welcomes all feedback about our homes as the care, wellbeing and safety of our residents is paramount.

“Whilst Ashworth Grange’s Care Quality Commission (CQC) report was a disappointing read, we were pleased that CQC found the home to be very caring, awarding this a ‘good’ rating.

“The majority of the CQC’s comments related to the completion of paperwork, which we have addressed immediately. Clearly, documentation is an important part of care delivery and Ashworth Grange take their responsibility in this area extremely seriously.

“Very positive changes have been made at Ashworth Grange since the CQC inspection in January, which we feel rectify all areas identified for improvement within the report.”