A former care worker has revealed their last few years at a once respectable care home in Amersham were 'hell' before it officially closed this year. 

The caregiver, who has asked to remain anonymous, told the Free Press that the Rushymead Residential Care Home on Coleshill was ‘ran into the ground’ due to a 'lack of care' and that 'there had ‘always been a  problem with finances.’

Bucks Free Press: The care home closed in February this yearThe care home closed in February this year (Image: NQ)

The care home was put under special measures following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission at the back end of 2023, following an unannounced review on November 16 and 22 of the previous year.

After the examinations, the CQC rated the care home on Tower Road as ‘inadequate’ – the lowest score available.

The key categories of safety and leadership were also rated as ‘inadequate’, but its caring and responsive sections were deemed to be ‘good’.

However, the care home officially closed its doors for the final time on February 16 this year.

Now, nearly three months on from its closure, an ex-employee has revealed the serious nature of issues which dated back 'several years.'

Bucks Free Press: The urine soaked and damaged carpet at the care home in AmershamThe urine soaked and damaged carpet at the care home in Amersham (Image: NA)

Before the shutdown, there had been rumours of staff using their own money to 'get things done' due to an alleged lack of funding. 

The caseworker told the Free Press: “I was there for a long time and loved helping the elderly, but for several years, things got very bad.

"When I say bad, I mean they were bad.

"It was hell - there was a lack of care from the people who should have been helping us. 

“During the pandemic, which was a chaotic and busy period for the care sector, the trustees never stepped foot in our building.

Bucks Free Press: The site remains shut and it's not known what will happen to the building The site remains shut and it's not known what will happen to the building (Image: NQ)

“They didn’t help us source PPE, they didn’t help in making the staff feel safe and supported.

“We had to find our own PPE, we had to try and source government grants ourselves, and in essence, we were told that if anyone died, we, as carers, needed to ‘fill the rooms as quickly as possible' as they openly told us they needed money. 

“One time, a resident moved in and they decided to bring their furniture with them.

“It was clear from the day they moved in that the furniture had bed bugs in it.

"This wasn't new to us as it had happened before, so to resolve the matter, we just needed to call the exterminator.

“But the trustees didn’t want this, and it took them 16 days to finally agree.

“We were fighting to get them to pay for someone to come in.

"Our carpets, which were soaked with urine, were in a terrible state, and one or two other care workers were injured due to the awful state our car park was in.

Bucks Free Press: One of the potholes along the drive wayOne of the potholes along the drive way (Image: NA)

"We said it needed to be repaired, but we were ignored.

“I loved helping the elderly, but the last few years were tough.

"We were left to sort everything out ourselves as there had always been an issue with money.

"We, as care workers, were hugely disrespected."

Rushymead, which was run by the Michael Batt Charitable Trust, was placed in special measures after inspectors discovered 'several serious failings' at their most recent examination. 

They were given six months to make ‘significant improvements’ until a re-inspection would take place but the establishment suddenly closed in February.

When asked about the allegations, Mr Batt said they were ‘rubbish’ and that he did ‘everything possible’ to keep Rushymead going.

He told the Free Press: “There’s not too much to chat about as I kept that place going for 22 years.

“However, it got to the point where the care home wasn’t viable.

Bucks Free Press: The roads were not in a good stateThe roads were not in a good state (Image: NA)

"It had to shut.

"I was very sad to see it go but all these allegations about lack of money are completely rubbish.

“It was agreed amongst the trustees that the care home would close and whilst it’s very sad, people want to die in their own homes.

“All this stuff about the staff and money is not true  - everyone got paid handsomely.

“I worked miracles there for 22 years.

"All these accusations are total rubbish."

The findings in November last year came one month after the Michael Batt Foundation, based in Plymouth, Devon, was also rated inadequate by the CQC.

A report by the BBC revealed that ‘unlawful acts of deprivation’ were found and that the foundation ‘did not always promote people's human rights’ during a 10-day inspection in July 2023.

The report suggested that whilst no evidence was found in terms of people being harmed, one incident saw a person was left ‘unsupported’.

To read the official CQC report on Rushymead, click here.