Macc Care, who run the Austin Rose Care Home in West Heath have responded to accusations that their food served at teatime is below standard.
The Austin Rose is Macc Cares newest purpose-built care home and claims to “provide a luxury, stress-free environment designed to support residents’ daily lives, and maximise their quality of life”. It can accommodate up to 80 residents and caters for needs including dementia, physical disabilities, sensory impairment and younger adults.
On 6th October, the granddaughter of a relative at the care home, Betty Ingleby, posted photos on Facebook and said: “Please can everyone share this!!! I am exposing austin rose care home west heath Birmingham. My grandad is a resident there and the food is disgusting, I wouldn’t serve it to my dog. We have complained many times and they think the food is acceptable. Please share this all photos below are the meals served at 5.00pm. How they expect elderly people to eat this is beyond belief when they have worked all there lives…… absolute disgrace 🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤬🤬🤬🤬”
A spokesperson for Macc Care said: “Following on from the social media uproar about the meals offered at Austin Rose at tea time, we have assessed the meals we offer in the Care Home to the residents and we feel that we are meeting the dietary needs of our residents, this includes catering for modified & specialised diets to meet the needs of each individual resident. We have found from our assessment that the presentation of the food to the residents, is not what we would expect & we have not always been achieving the expected standards. We have now addressed this issue and it is being monitored closely by the Home Manager. We have asked residents & relatives for feedback regarding the food, including relatives who eat with residents in the home, currently this has been favourable. We take all complaints seriously & have been looking into this issue which has been raised with us prior to it becoming publicised on social media. We will continue to work with the family who have raised these concerns with us.”
The family, claim to have been complaining for over three months and after several meetings with the care home, nothing has changed. “When a person has Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia and insulin dependant and can not speak for him self, as a family we have to speak for him” said Betty.
Nutrition and sloppy mash
With over 300 comments on the initial post, Facebook member Rob commented: “This is disgusting. I can’t believe the standard of cooking that is served to the residents. It’s not difficult to cook a nutritious meal. A joint of meat and a few veg is easy to cook and keep warm and then throw an apple pie in the oven. Give the residents food they like. It would be cheaper than that processed muck. The residents need good wholesome food and it should be something they look forward to every day.😡”
Further comments included:
Hope: “My grandad received palliative care from this nursing home just a few weeks ago and we could not fault it! Myself and my mom both work in a hospital so have high standards, everything was brilliant including the staff and food even much so that sometimes we would have meals ourselves… they were caring and very supportive throughout this difficult time for our family and feel that a couple of pictures of bad food combinations shouldn’t define them! Especially when there are a lot worse care homes out there.”
Sarah: “This is not good care in my opinion.the food should be fresh fruit a veg (not slop)no nutrition just carbs is all I see.it breaks my heart that this is how elderly people get treated especially how much it costs to be in a home”
Wesley: “We also know a patient there ….awful care, zero response times and bad food …for the cost to stay there per week ud think itd be 5 star ….staff are rude too ….agreed something needs to be done!” [sic]
The spokesperson for Macc Care also said: “We have never used instant mash, we have always used fresh potatoes, this can be evidenced by our invoices. We have always used a local supplier of potatoes who deliver directly to the home. There was period of time when the potatoes were not cooking well, our supplier told us this was due to the hot weather. The type of potatoes were changed by the supplier, we have always used fresh potatoes. Regarding the other fresh produce, this is supplied to the home by the same local contractor who supplies our potatoes, our invoices can evidence this, we do not use packet alternatives to fresh produce. We do use frozen peas & green beans; frozen vegetables are considered to be nutritionally superior as they are frozen at source. Other vegetables provided are fresh.
Adding: “We also provide modified diets for people with swallowing difficulties & the texture of this food is different to a normal diet, this has a different appearance & consistency to a standard meal.”
If you have have any concerns regarding care, you can contact Care Quality Commission here.