A Bexleyheath care home has been given the worst possible inspection rating after it was found a resident had poured shampoo into their porridge and eaten it.

Maples Care Home has been rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in a report published last month.

The inspector said in their report that findings from audits were not used to improve safety for people at the care home.

They said relatives claimed to have visited the home and seen up to 14 residents at a time with no carer.

The report said: “In the audit for April 2023, there was an incident recorded where one person mixed shampoo into their porridge and ate it.

"The person’s care plan documented that shampoo should be removed from the person’s room when not in use. However, during the inspection we found that there was a bottle of shampoo left in their bathroom.”

Mixed feedback was also received from relatives of people living in the home.

One family member claimed their relative’s clothes had food on them every day and their hair was often greasy.

Several residents were also said in the report to be at risk of choking due to a lack of risk assessments being in place.

The inspector said in their report: “One person’s care plan documented that they slept a lot during the day.

"During the inspection we saw this person was hunched over to one side in an armchair asleep in a communal hallway. Although they were asleep, staff were attempting to support them to eat their lunch. This was a choking risk as the person was not alert and sitting upright.”

They added: “We saw one person had food all down their t-shirt, staff had not ensured their dignity was maintained by supporting them to put on a clean top.”

However, the care home was praised for appearing clean, with a security system ensuring people remained safe.

Residents’ rooms were also decorated and personalised to their taste, and several relatives praised the food served.

The report said: “One relative said, ‘My [family member] does not need assistance, the food is quite good.’

Another relative said, ‘My [family member’s] food is cut up, [they] have soft foods and [eat independently]’.”

A Maples Care Home spokesperson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “The health, safety and wellbeing of our residents is our absolute priority and we take all feedback from the CQC extremely seriously.

"We are disappointed by the outcome of the inspection as it does not reflect the high standards of care we provide. We understand the CQC will be returning shortly with a different inspection team to re-inspect the home following our response to the inaccuracies within the report.”

The spokesperson said two new senior managers from the service’s sister homes have been appointed at Maples since the inspection.

They said that both individuals have an exceptional track record for delivering industry-leading care for residents, while championing their safety and dignity.

They added: “Throughout this process, we have listened to feedback by the CQC and worked tirelessly to ensure that we adhere to the high standards that residents, relatives and friends rightly expect and deserve. Guided by our values of honesty, family, care and commitment, our dedication to providing industry-leading care remains steadfast.”

The care home provides residential, nursing and dementia care for up to 75 elderly people, with 61 people using the service at the time of the inspection.

The service has been placed in special measures and will receive another inspection within six months to check for significant improvements.