A DAMNING report into a South Newton adult social care service has been published, after a whistleblower raised concerns about staff not being able to speak or understand basic English and that agency staff were working without appropriate checks.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found Pembroke Lodge, part of the Glenside Healthcare Services group, to be ‘inadequate’, after a surprise inspection in November.

Glenside is made up of a neuro-rehabilitation hospital and six associated adult social care homes, on a site in South Newton. The most recent report by the healthcare watchdog, published last Wednesday, focuses on Pembroke Lodge - a Glenside care home that can house up to 16 people.

The inspection was prompted by whistleblowing concerns about the competency of staff, poor working and living conditions at the home, unqualified staff carrying out maintenance checks and a lack of equipment across the Glenside Manor site.

Inspectors found that the home’s recruitment procedures “did not ensure the staff at the home were suitable to work with vulnerable adults”.

Some agency staff used throughout Glenside to make up staffing numbers did not have appropriate disclosure and barring checks (previously CRB checks) or references in place, the report said.

Relatives of residents at the home had also raised concerns about language barriers with the staff, and said their family members were at risk of harm because staff were not able to understand instructions.

The report said: “On speaking to staff, it was clear that some staff employed through recruitment agencies were not able to speak or understand English. This had a significant impact on the care provided.

"One staff [member] commented, ‘Some staff don’t speak English and use Google translate, it’s not safe.’”

Language barriers had also prevented some staff from receiving an induction or mandatory training.

Inspectors also highlighted a “significant turnover” of staff at Glenside over the past 12 months, and revealed that 240 employees had left in 2017.

The report said some members of staff were tearful when speaking about management of the hospital and homes, and said they were unable to raise concerns because of a “bullying culture” at the service.

“The staff told us morale was poor across the six locations as they were in daily fear of losing their jobs, due to witnessing other staff being dismissed daily and subsequently ordered off site,” it said.

Residents at Pembroke Lodge “were not safe from the risk of potential harm”, the report said.

Risk assessments were not clear on how to minimise potential issues and staff said they were “not confident” to use holds or intervention techniques to manage escalating behaviour by residents who may show signs of aggression.

One staff member told inspectors: “I am not powerful, they are too strong for me, I am frightened sometimes. I can’t do the MAPA [management of aggressive behaviour] holds as they are too strong, I feel scared.”

Medicine systems were not managed safely and people were not having their medicines as prescribed, inspectors said, and reported that care records were not up to date and guidance was inconsistent for some people. This included people at risk of choking.

Of the facilities at Glenside, only the neuro-rehabilitation hospital was found ‘good’, and inspectors are carrying out further checks at all of the homes - five of which are currently rated as ‘requires improvement’, with the remaining (Pembroke Lodge) recently marked ‘inadequate’.

Checks are also being carried out at a Glenside facility in Farnborough, that also ‘requires improvement’.

The owners of Glenside Healthcare Services were approached for comment.