A man locked out of a care home without food or medicine at the height of the pandemic

An adult with mental health issues and a learning disability was kicked out of a care home without food, medicine or water at the height of the pandemic.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service reported in September last year that a service user who lived at Selbourne Mews care home in Smethwick lit sheets and blankets with his own lighter, despite care records indicating that the lighter should be held by staff.

It follows a QCC report in September last year, who described the care home’s security and leadership as “insufficient”.

READ MORE:Bed set on fire at Smethwick nursing home after staff failed to keep lighter safe

But now it is alleged that serious lapses in care have taken place, with a former manager saying he was ‘appalled by the lack of care and financial gain’ at the care home.

The care home was approached for comment and said that while they cannot directly comment on any of the people they care for, as the responsible care provider they have worked closely with the CQC and local authorities to ensure that a high standard of care is delivered.

Following an investigation by the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), the service user, who had mental health issues and a learning disability, first entered Selbourne Mews in September 2020 as part of an emergency placement, following the failure of a previous placement in the Greater Manchester Area.

His social workers, based in Rochdale Council, had made an agreement with Caretech Ltd, the owners of Selbourne Mews, to take him in as he needed urgent accommodation.

He then suffered a rapid decline in his mental health between the dates of March 19 and March 22, 2021, before setting fire to his own bedding – at the height of the pandemic and the harsh effects of the lockdown.

A former manager of Selbourne Mews, who wished to remain anonymous, told LDRS that following the incident the service user was kicked out of the care home “without notice”.

Speaking to LDRS, they said: “I remember the service user was first taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation.

“My personal feeling is that it was quite distressing as we knew he had nowhere to go. The mental health team at Sandwell also told me that night that they had nowhere to go. somewhere to go.

The former manager alleged that the operations manager was instructed not to allow the individual into the premises and to ‘change the codes’ on the doors to prevent him from entering the care home.

The care home continued not to allow him into Selbourne Mews, despite three attempts by the service user to re-enter the building.

It is also alleged that staff were also told to ‘ignore’ it.

It is claimed he then spent the night on the streets of Sandwell without medicine, food or money until he was picked up by the local mental health team the following day.

The former manager said: “It’s so upsetting. The individual had a DOLS (Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards) imposed on him. He wasn’t deemed to have the capacity. This guy was in a nursing home for a reason and duty of care was not followed.

Rochdale Council confirmed to the LDRS that they lodged a complaint on March 24 last year with Caretech Ltd over the incident.

The complaint will put more pressure on the care home to improve its standards of care provided and its commitment to making the necessary improvements.

A spokesperson for Selbourne Care, the operator of Selbourne Mews, said: “Selbourne Mews provides accommodation for people with learning disabilities or mental health issues with complex support needs.

“We do not comment directly on any of the people we care for, but as a responsible care provider, we work closely with the CQC and local authorities to ensure quality care is provided.

“We recognize that a number of issues were identified by the CQC following its inspection in May 2021, but we are confident that since the publication of this report, progress has been made to bring the service back to the levels of high quality that we expect.”

This survey, worked on for more than four months by the LDRS, sheds light on the current crisis in social assistance for adults.

Local authorities are responsible for adult social care in England, which have a legal duty to fund care for those whose needs meet national eligibility criteria, as set out in the Care Act 2014.

The money comes from local government finance settlement, combined with business rates and council tax. In addition, the government has provided earmarked funding over the years. Total spending on adult social care was around £21.2bn in 2020-21.

But English councils lost £7.7billion from adult social care budgets between 2010 and 2020, with people in need of help facing longer waits for less care, the Directors’ Association adult social services (ADASS) warned.

Public spending on adult social care is expected to increase by at least 9.7% between 2019/20 and 2024/25 to provide care for the growing number of people eligible for publicly funded care under the current system, According to the Institute for Government.

There is also a picture of constant failure across the country.

Last year, the Care Quality Commission found that 15% of adult social care providers needed improvement and 1% were inadequate.

And in 2019, The Guardian revealed Private companies now own and manage 84% of beds in care homes in England as local councils have almost completely withdrawn from a key area of ​​social care they previously dominated.

Selbourne Mews is currently listed on Sandwell council’s website as a care home with ‘nursing, mental health, learning disabilities and home care’.

Selbourne Care, the operator behind Selbourne Mews, is owned by Caretech Community Services.

CareTech Community Services Ltd, which recorded £10.5million in pre-tax profits in 2019, was founded by donor Farouq Sheikh.

In 2020, he was appointed OBE for “specialized social care services”.

He is also a director of the company, as well as executive chairman of CareTech plc, its parent company.

A Sandwell board spokesperson said: “We can confirm that we are currently working with the supplier through our internal processes and therefore are unable to comment as this is a live process at this stage. .”

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About Antoine L. Cassell

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