A SECOND Oxford care home run by struggling provider Southern Cross has been shamed in a damning inspection report.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found The Albany in Headington failed all seven essential safety standards.

Inspectors found vulnerable pensioners left without prescribed medicines, soiled toilet seats, broken emergency evacuation lights, residents left without hot water or heating, and others left in bed until lunchtime because of staff shortages.

The report comes weeks after Brookfield Christian Care Home in Greater Leys, which is also run by Southern Cross, was criticised by care inspectors.

Last night, Oxfordshire County Council, which funds the care of 28 residents at The Albany, said it stopped sending people there last December after receiving seven comments raising concerns about care last year.

And as talks continue to save Southern Cross, the nation’s biggest care home provider, from financial collapse, inspectors said staff cutbacks had put residents at risk.

The CQC found on five nights in two weeks, three members of staff were left looking after 30 residents over two floors, instead of the four on the rota.

The commission said: “The home did not have the number of staff on duty at all times to meet the needs of the people living there. Staffing levels at night compromised the care and support provided to people. There were insufficient domestic staff employed to maintain an adequate standard of hygiene in the home.”

Residents told inspectors staff shortages meant they were stuck in bed until midday, when lunch was served.

Yesterday, Southern Cross, which runs seven Oxfordshire care homes, refused to explain how standards at the home had fallen so low or whether managers had been held responsible. In their statement to the Oxford Mail, the company even failed to correctly identify the local authority responsible for social care.

Area manager Ash Khan said: “Since the Care Quality Commission made their visits to The Albany Care Home in Headington several months ago, a number of improvements in care provision and changes to management have been made at the home. Currently, all full time staff positions have been filled.

“We continue to work closely with the Care Quality Commission and Oxford Council (sic), along with residents and their relatives to improve and sustain care delivery at the home.”

Mr Khan added: “The care and wellbeing of our residents remains our top priority.”

County council spokesman Marcus Mabberley said: “Officers have seen evidence to demonstrate that Southern Cross has put improvements in place in some areas at the home, however some issues have not been addressed to our satisfaction.

“The council is continuing to work with the home and Southern Cross to ensure that acceptable standards of care are achieved.”

When inspectors visited The Albany in May, they found:

  • Soiled and stained toilet pans, encrusted hand basins, and dirty commodes in residents’ bedrooms
  • Dirt, liquid and dust congealed underneath mattresses on the residents’ beds
  • The home had run out of prescribed nutritional supplements for three residents, but staff “did not know” what to do about it
  • Medication had not been stored appropriately and had been given to the wrong people
  • One resident had been injured because they had been moved and lifted wrongly, but the incident had not been recorded in the home’s records
  • Emergency lights needed in the event of fire had been left broken for five months
  • Just one out of the home’s five boilers worked well, leaving residents without hot water or heating
  • Broken and worn furniture, doors missing handles and torn and soiled carpets
  • One working mechanical hoist between 15 people who needed the assistance
  • Medication, catheter equipment and incontinence pads left by former residents in their rooms
  • Hand rails in bathrooms were deemed “unsafe” due to their loose fittings.