Petty pois complaint as care home boss told to measure liquid in gravy and count the number of peas on each residents’ plate

17:17 25 February 2013

Laburnum Lodge Littleport.

Laburnum Lodge Littleport.

Archant

CARE home staff are having to measure the amount of liquid in each spoonful of gravy – and even count the number of peas given to residents – to avoid falling foul of inspectors again.

Raj Sehgal, director of armscare, which runs the Laburnum Lodge care home in Littleport, says inspectors acting for the Care Quality Commission have made ridiculous demands of staff that have been almost impossible to carry out.

Enforcement action was taken against Laburnum Lodge, in Victoria Street, by the commission late last year after inspectors ruled staff were not providing ‘safe and appropriate care’.

Mr Sehgal said many of the demands were unlike anything he had heard before and were not being applied at his other care homes in Norfolk which, he says, were all rated as good by the commission.

He said in some cases inspectors were demanding staff weigh out and record the exact amount of food being given to residents on every plate ... down to the number of peas.

He also said that the volume of water in every spoonful of gravy had to be measured and recorded and, once the resident had finished their meal, the waste had to be measured and deducted from the original total ready for presentation to inspectors.

He said: “We had a meeting with residents and families and various professionals this week because we wanted to air some of our concerns about the way some these inspections are being carried out.

“There is a lot that we just don’t understand. We have had our managers from all our other homes come over and give us their opinions on what we can do here but nothing seems to be good enough.

“We get labelled as providing poor standards of care but that is simply not the reality.”

A meeting was held at the home on Tuesday and relatives of some of the residents, led by Michael Massey and David Porter, have decided to set up a friends group.

They will contacting the commission and MP Steve Barclay to ask for a full investigation.

A commission statement said: “CQC issued a warning notice to Laburnum Lodge in December following an inspection on October 30 to follow up on concerns noted at a previous inspection.

“They were given a deadline of January 11 to comply with the areas where non-compliance was found in relation to the care and welfare of service users.

“Our inspectors will return in the near future and if we find that the required progress is not made we won’t hesitate to use our legal powers to protect the people who use this service.”

The statement made no reference to the question of gravy and peas.

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