Two care home residents had notes on their files telling medical staff not to resuscitate – without any proof they agreed to it.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) issued Longacre Care Home in High Salvington, Worthing with a formal warning ordering bosses to make urgent improvements after the shocking find.
There was no proof the two “do not resuscitate” forms had been discussed with the residents or their relatives.
The CQC report said Longacre did not act within the law when residents lacked the capacity to consent and one patient who did not want to be resuscitated did not have the relevant forms on their file.
Ian Biggs, deputy director of CQC in the south, said: “We check the national standards of quality and safety in care that the law says everyone should be able to expect.
“These standards exist to protect people who cannot always speak up for themselves from being put at risk of harm. Providers have a duty to be compliant.
“It is important that staff seek consent from people before providing treatment or care. Where this doesn’t happen, this puts people at risk of receiving care which does not meet their needs and can have serious consequences.
“Our inspectors will return in the near future to carry out another unannounced inspection. If we find that the home is not making the required progress we won’t hesitate to use our legal powers further to protect the people who live there.”
Owner Raj Doorja said a follow-up visit by the CQC left inspectors “quite happy” that things have improved.
He said the concerns were about paperwork and doctors always acted in the patients’ best interests, with their consent and cooperation.
A report on the second visit has not yet been published and the CQC could not comment further.
The home in Chute Way, which cares for up to 30 people over the age of 65 who need personal or nursing care, also needed to make improvements in four other areas.
The inspection report published in December found four people’s care records were lacking a great deal of information leaving them unsafe or at risk of inappropriate care and there were not enough skilled, qualified and experienced staff to meet peoples’ needs.
Staff also said dealing with soiled laundry was sometimes “a nightmare” and there were not enough staff to clean the home, with the cleaner sometimes only working one day a week.
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