A WIRRAL care home where staff ticked the "do not resuscitate box" for a resident without telling them has been given the worst possible rating.

Penkett Lodge, on Penkett Road in Wallasey, was criticised for failing to consult the resident on this life or death question, as well as using "ripped and shabby" bedding and failing to protect residents' safety.

The report, by regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC), said one resident was capable of giving consent to their treatment, but "a decision was taken not to resuscitate them in the event of ill-health without their involvement".

This decision breached the law.

One of the care home's residents had consented to not being resuscitated in a conversation with their GP, yet records in their case file said they were not able to consent.

The report stated "this did not make sense".

Although these two cases are listed separately in the report, a spokesperson for Penkett Lodge said both concerned the same person.

Penkett Lodge provides full-time care for 17 residents, some of whom have dementia and the issue of respecting resident's wishes and treating them with respect was a notable feature of the report.

Staff were heard discussing people's care needs in front of the person and their peers "as if they weren't there," something the reports said was disrespectful, though it should be noted most residents said they liked the staff and appreciated their care.

The condition of Penkett Lodge was also criticised by the CQC.

The report stated: "Some of the home's carpets were threadbare, heavily stained or rucked up presenting a trip hazard.

"Some people's bedding was ripped and shabby.

"One bathroom was not in use as the bath hoist had not been tested as safe to use."

More evidence of run-down conditions at the home was present in the report's assessment of the garden: "Garden surfaces remained uneven.

"Parts of the garden contained decking that would be slippery when wet.

"The decking had no safety ledges or rails to prevent people from falling."

Given the vulnerability of residents at the home, a further series of safety issues were also worrying.

The report stated: "Fire safety arrangements were poor.

"Some fire doors did not close properly which meant they would be ineffective in preventing the spread of fire.

"Some people were unable to walk very far or use the stairs. Despite this there was only one evacuation chair available to help them evacuate to safety."

Additionally, the car park was cracked, uneven and poorly lit, increasing the risk of residents falling, and technology used to alert staff when someone had fallen had not been set up properly, harming its ability to help staff deal with falls.

Staff recruitment was a further concern highlighted in the report, which said the management at the care home could not be sure its staff were fit and proper.

The process did not ensure staff had the skills to do their job, for instance some staff had not been assessed as to their ability to give people their medicine for over a year.

Poor record keeping meant contracts and proof of staff member’s identity were often not present. It was also impossible to tell if criminal record checks for staff members were satisfactory.

A spokesperson for Penkett Lodge said most of the criticisms made in the report refer to isolated incidents.

He added the care home is working with the CQC to address their concerns and that many have already been resolved, stating issues around residents’ documentation and fire safety specifically.

But the spokesperson said the safety issues in the garden would take longer to sort out.

Cllr Chris Jones, Wirral Council's cabinet member for adult care, said: "Wirral Health and Care Commissioning, alongside Wirral Council, have been working on an action plan with the provider to make improvements at Penkett Lodge.

"Our social care teams are currently undertaking reviews where necessary and during this period there will be no new admissions to the provider.

"A meeting is arranged with WHCC, the CQC and Penkett Lodge later this month to discuss the recent inadequate rating and to agree the care home’s next steps.

"All parties are keen to take great strides to improve the home's rating and move forward positively."