The Enter and View visits to The Lodge Residential Care Home in Farnham Road, South Shields, were undertaken at the request of South Tyneside Council.

Our team of authorised representatives, who visited the home on March 13 and April 5, were asked to focus on personal care, choices, staffing and response times.

They spoke to 21 residents and 13 family members (ten by telephone and three in person) and asked a number of questions about each of the four areas.

On personal care, 90 per cent of residents and 54 per cent of family members responded positively to questions about their needs being met and quality of life.

Negative responses included: no facilities to take residents out of the home; personal hygiene with residents not always appearing clean; unkempt hair; deterioration in teeth with no dental checks; personal items going missing and poor room hygiene.

On having enough choice around food and activities, residents who responded about food were mainly positive, saying they looked forward to meals, it was good food and there was plenty of it. But 40 per cent of relatives did not think there was sufficient choice.

Resident responses to activities were mixed, with two thirds of respondents positive, saying there was quite a lot going on including crosswords, regular quizzes, dancing, baking and bingo. Others said there was not enough choice of activities or they were not encouraged to join in activities. The family responses were broadly the same.

Most residents and relatives were positive about there being enough staff to meet needs and every respondent said they were treated with kindness, dignity, and respect.

There was a mixed verdict on response times with half of residents saying they did not have to wait a long time for staff to see what they needed and the other half saying that sometimes they did. Of the family members who responded, 75 per cent said staff responded in a timely manner while 25 per cent had concerns around wait times as a result of being short staffed.

Recommendations made to the local authority and to provider Marton Care Homes Ltd to improve the quality of life for residents and the interactions of the care home staff with family members include:

  • Establish a communications pathway to minimise the chance of family members being unaware of medications prescribed and actions taken where medical support is needed.
  • Approach South Tyneside Care Academy for advice and support on staff training to address areas such as clean and tidy bedding and clothing, and appropriate medical checks not being carried out in a timely fashion.
  • Activities Coordinator to consider the needs of residents with more complex needs missing out on activities.

After the visits took place a safeguarding referral was made to South Tyneside Safeguarding Team regarding concerns around one resident.

Healthwatch South Tyneside will revisit The Lodge care home in six months.

The full report can be read here: