07 December 2016
The Donwell House care home in Wearside, subject of a huge fine of nearly £400,000 earlier this year, has been criticised by the CQC for not learning lessons from the prosecution.
The prosecution was the result of failings which were uncovered by Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service in 2014 after a fire broke out in the bedroom of one of the residents at the home.
Officers discovered that fire doors in the property had been wedged open, allowing smoke and heat to fill the corridor from the bedroom where the fire broke out.
An inspection by the CQC undertaken in October this year found the overall service to be ‘inadequate’, with particular concerns raised about fire safety.
The report states: “Premises safety was a concern. There were duplicate fire zones and room numbers within the building.
“The actions identified from a fire risk assessment completed in April 2016 had not been rectified, this included action in relation to an inadequate fire detection system and inadequate training for the evacuation of people.
“A service user evacuation register was out of date and the fire log book contained 29 personal emergency evacuation plans (PEEPs) when there were 53 people resident in the building.”
“We found lessons had not been learned in relation to the safe management of the premises and fire safety despite a public prosecution in relation to multiple breaches of fire regulations.”
The report also stated: “Fire door checks had not been completed since 14 June 2016. The standard recorded for these checks was weekly. Emergency lighting checks had not been completed since August 2016.
“There had been no management reviews of the fire log book recorded since 27 April 2016 and building fire management monthly checks had not been completed since 10 August 2016.
“A document titled 'fire system in house weekly check' which included the fire panel, break glass units, fire signage, access/egress door checks and alarm sounders had been completed on 1 September 2016.
“This meant the provider was increasing the level risk in relation to fire safety by not ensuring appropriate checks were completed.”