'DISRESPECTFUL' care home staff left people with autism and learning disabilities 'at risk of harm' following a damning report by the CQC.

Poppy Cottage Limited in Denham, Uxbridge, Buckinghamshire, has been rated as 'inadequate' after Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors visited the care home in July.

Inspectors made an unannounced visit after receiving complaints from concerned family members about staffing levels, medicine errors, an allegation of abuse and poor management.

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At the time of the inspection, 18 people with a learning disability, or autistic people were under the care of Poppy Cottage Limited.

The care home was rated inadequate for being safe, effective and well-led and requires improvement for being responsive and caring.

The report found how one staff member locked the exit at a person's home for "their safety".

As well as this, there was no care plan or risk assessment for the care and treatment of a person's pressure ulcers, or instructions to staff about repositioning to avoid further damage. T

The same person's daily records showed inconsistent blood glucose monitoring in relation to diabetes, which put their health at risk. Staff responsible for monitoring a person's blood glucose monitoring were not trained or assessed as competent to do so and might not be able to identify when medical assistance was required.

Staffing checks were inadequate too after the inspectors discovered how one member of staff was employed and supported people unsupervised without a criminal record or barring list check.

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Debbie Ivanova, CQC’s deputy chief inspector for people with a learning disability and autistic people said: “We found widespread and significant shortfalls in leadership and care which compromised the wellbeing and safety of people living in the service, as well as staff. This is clearly not acceptable.

“People should not be deprived of their liberty without legal authority, yet staff told us that they needed to lock one person in their home to keep them safe and that another person was subjected to seclusion in their bedroom, which records confirmed. We were also told that people living in one of the five settings could not go out alone, and that day-to-day activity was done in groups. A lack of meaningful activities had led to one person becoming dependent on their tablet, to the point they showed signs of distress when restrictions were placed on the use of the tablet.

“We also heard staff were using consistently disrespectful terminology when describing people living in the home, such as ‘naughty’, ‘bad’ or ‘lazy’. A written account said that a member of staff described a person’s behaviour as ‘disrespectful’ and indicated that staff support escalated the person’s distress. We expect health and social care providers to guarantee people with a learning disability the choices, dignity, and independence that most people take for granted.

“We also found that risk assessments did not provide staff with enough information to keep people safe in the event of an epileptic seizure or an incidence of choking."

CQC inspectors said they will return to make sure improvements have been made.

To read the full report click here.