A care home for adults with disabilities has been rated ‘requires improvement’ after a contamination risk to drinking water was discovered during a routine inspection.

Following an Inspection in January, Maple House in Aldborough Road South, Ilford, was given the second lowest possible rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The service was previously rated ‘good’ in October 2017.

In a report published on February 20, CQC inspectors found the home was failing to ensure people had access to clean drinking water.

Inspectors said: “We found the shower heads in two shower rooms could drop below the water level when the showers were in use. This was also the case with the shower head in the bath. This could create a backflow (an unwanted flow of water in the reverse direction) and could be a serious health risk for the contamination of drinking water, which people and staff consumed.”

The report also noted how opened food items were left in their packaging, instead of a sealed container, with no date of opening noted on them – the home’s manager disposed of the items when brought to their attention.

Some first aid items were also discovered to have expired.

On the day of the inspection, CQC inspectors were alerted to three fire doors which were not closing fully against the frame.

Inspectors wrote: “This put people, staff and visitors to the service at risk in the event of a fire… The registered manager and they told us the provider had already made arrangement for an external contractor to come and fix the doors to ensure they close properly.”

Staff at the home were praised for the knowledge and skill – inspectors also noted staff were supported in their professional development with training courses.

Residents at the home told inspectors they felt safe and well looked after by staff – who were praised by CQC for ensuring people’s privacy and dignity were protected and encouraging them to maintain their independence.

One relative told inspectors: "The staff know how to care for [person] especially when they get angry, they know how to calm them."

Another relative said: "The staff are always very helpful. They know everything about my [family member] and treat them well."

Maple House has been contacted for comment.