An Ellesmere Port care home owner says he is extremely disappointed at the outcome of a Care Quality Commission inspection.
The initially unannounced two day visit was made at Atherton Lodge on Pooltown Road where the privately owned two-storey detached property run by Worcestershire based P.A.R Nursing Homes has been converted and extended.
The home provides accommodation for up to 40 older people who require personal and nursing care and for those living with dementia. At the time of the inspection there were 17 people living at the home who required accommodation and personal care only.
The CQC says the home is currently inadequate overall and is in special measures.
Its safety, effectiveness and leadership are all inadequate while the care provided and its responsiveness require improvement.
Commenting on the outcome, director Mr Satwinder Singh Pawar said: “We were extremely disappointed with the CQC report as the management and staff at the home have put a great deal of effort to improve the service.
“We will continue to do everything necessary to make sure our residents are kept safe and well.”
The CQC found there was no registered manager in place although a manager was in post who had been interviewed by the CQC for registration at the service.
Their report explains that at the last comprehensive inspection in December 2016 four breaches of regulations under the Health and Social Care Act had been identified and it had been found that a number of improvements were required.
People were not protected from the risk of unsafe care and treatment and arrangements in place to assess, monitor and improve the quality and safety of care were not effective.
Consent to care and treatment was not always sought in line with relevant legislation and the surroundings were not suitable to meet the needs of people living with dementia. Action had been requested to deal with these issues.
The CQC says it has now found ‘continued breaches’ of the regulations as well as additional failures.
Medication was not administered safely and staff failed to protect one person from a known risk of harm. Instructions provided by a GP for the administration of medication were not followed and records relating to medicines were not always kept up to date promptly.
Parts of the home and equipment in use were not clean with ongoing risks with regards to infection control. Call bell cords were found to be tied up, rooms containing hazardous equipment and substances were not secure and the management of health, safety and infection control was poor.
People were not consistently supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives. Bedroom doors were locked restricting residents from gaining access to their bedrooms and possessions as and when they wished.
The home was said by the provider to be able to support people living with dementia but the CQC found it was not dementia friendly and only limited adaptations had been made to aid and support people who were living with dementia.
People’s privacy was not ensured and their rights to choice, privacy and dignity were not always respected.
Residents were not always protected from the risk of malnutrition and dehydration and where advice and guidance had been sought from health professionals this had not always been followed.
No actions were recorded to identify that the registered provider had considered how to minimise or respond to any risks, patterns or changes required to people’s care needs.
Quality assurance systems at Atherton Lodge had not identified issues the CQC raised as part of the inspection and the watchdog was not notified as required about incidents and events which had occurred.
Care plans varied in detail and did not always accurately reflect the support people required to keep them safe. Their needs were not always assessed and planned for to ensure they were met although care plans to support people living with dementia had improved and offered guidance to staff.
Records did not always include complaints received and correspondence and the CQC spoke with the manager and registered provider ‘regarding the content, tone and language used in correspondence as this was not always appropriate’.
The home had ‘clear policies and procedures’ for reporting any concerns they had about the safety and well-being of people they supported and the majority of residents spoken with by the CQC said they were happy with the service they received and that they felt safe.
Kindness of staff
Observations showed that staff took time with people and were kind in their approach and manner. Throughout the inspection residents were actively engaged in hobbies and interests.
Staffing levels were continuously reviewed to ensure people were safely supported and staff confirmed they felt supported by the manager.
The CQC explains that services in special measures will be kept under review. It adds: “This service will continue to be kept under review and, if needed, could be escalated to urgent enforcement action.
“Where necessary another inspection will be conducted within a further six months and, if there is not enough improvement so there is still a rating of inadequate for any key question or overall, we will take action to prevent the provider from operating this service. This will lead to cancelling their registration or to varying the terms of their registration.”