Care home in Willesden slammed for keeping stale food and failing to give patients enough to eat

Tower House care home has come under fire for out-of date food. Picture: Jan Nevill

Tower House care home has come under fire for out-of date food. Picture: Jan Nevill - Credit: Archant

The Tower House has been ordered to improve by the Care Quality Commission

A care home in Willesden has come under fire for keeping out-of-date food in its fridges and not giving patients enough to eat.

The Tower House care home on Tower Road has been told to improve after a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection revealed it was stocking its fridges with food past its sell-by date and making patients wait too long for meals.

The report by the independent watchdog stated “We found a number of food items that were unsuitable for consumption due to no longer being in date” and noted “The time people waited for their breakfast was 45 minutes and this put people under considerable stress and raised anxieties.”

Inspectors made a surprise visit of the home on May 15 in response to concerns over patient welfare.

When they arrived they noticed residents were “becoming restless” and “asked on several occasions for their breakfast indicating that they were hungry”.

They were also concerned by the lack of cooking facilities in the building - both the stove and water were disconnected in the kitchen, meaning staff had to carry food through the garden to the dining room.

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The CQC report, published on July 3, comes on the back of two earlier inspections this year which revealed that “food was not available in suitable quantities which put people at risk of malnutrition.”

Inspectors said the situation had now improved, but noted a complaint from one resident who said: “The food was very good, but sometimes it could be more.”

The home had been told to submit an improvement plan by mid July, and also needed to make changes to its building, record keeping and assessments.

A spokesman for the crae home said the changes have been made and progress is now on track: “We have bought more food and the action plan has been completed”.

The CQC are currently preparing an updated report.

Despite failings in some areas, the home performed well in terms of staff and interacting with patients and inspectors said patients were respected and happy.

One patient said: “They (staff) always ask me what I want and if I am satisfied with my care” while a relative said: “I am very happy how my (relative’s) health has improved since living in Tower House.”