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CQC warns European Care (England) Limited that they are failing to protect the safety and welfare of people
19 July 2012
Regulator demands immediate improvement at County Durham care home.
The Care Quality Commission has issued two official warnings to European Care (England) Limited, registered provider of Rushyfield Care Centre, Brandon, County Durham, stating that they must make urgent improvements or face further action.
In respect of the first warning the registered person must, so far as reasonably practicable, make suitable arrangements to ensure that the dignity, privacy and independence of service users is maintained and that service users are enabled to make, or participate in making, decisions relating to their care or treatment.
CQC inspectors visited the home on the 9 May 2012. Management at the home informed CQC that people who lived at Rushyfield Care Centre were fully supported by staff to understand their care and support and this enabled them to make choices and take informed risks. The CQC inspectors saw practices that led them to believe this was not true, and people and their relatives also told them this was not true.
Inspectors found that staff followed task led practices and gave service users limited choice. For example, they observed one care worker handing out one biscuit to each service user in the downstairs dining room, and a separate care worker handing out one slice of bread to each service user in the upstairs dining room. Instead of enabling people to choose how much they would like.
Inspectors examined information within the care plans for three service users which were signed by service users or their families, however, it was unclear if the service users who had signed, had the capacity to understand their plans. Though assessed as not having capacity, the inspectors, saw that these care plans had been signed by the service users.
In respect of the second warning the registered person must take proper steps to ensure that each service user is protected against the risks of receiving care or treatment that is inappropriate or unsafe.
CQC inspectors looked at the care plan and related records for a service user and saw two care plans which described care relating to agitation and aggression and other support needed. There was no clear plan of care for this person identifying potential triggers, avoidance measures, de-escalation strategies, and handling protocols for dealing with behaviour that would challenge the service. In addition, observational behaviour charts did not have guidance on how to complete them or what the codes in the care plan meant, and staff were also unclear about this. This meant staff may not be accurately recording peoples’ behaviour.
It was noted that four service users were not having their needs met and did not meet the admission criteria as described by acting manager. For example, four service users had general nursing needs and were receiving support in the dementia nursing unit. Staff within the service did not have general nursing skills to meet their needs.The inspectors told the acting manager of their concerns that some service users were inappropriately placed and that the service did not have the staff skills to meet their assessed needs. The service must ensure that it they can provide the staff skills and expertise needed to meet the specialised service it states it provides.
Malcolm Bower-Brown, CQC Deputy Director of Operations in the North region said:
“These standards are not acceptable. The law says that these are the standards that everyone should be able to expect. Providers have a duty to ensure they are compliant.
“This warning sends a clear and public message that European Care (England) Limited needs to address this issue as a matter of urgency or face serious consequences.
“Our inspectors will return to Rushyfield Care Centre in the near future and if we find that the provider is not making the required progress we won’t hesitate to use our legal powers to protect the people who use this service."
For further information please contact the CQC Regional Communications Team, David Fryer 07901 514 220 or Kirstin Hannaford 0191 233 3629.
The CQC press office can be contacted on 0207 448 9401 or out of hours on 07917 232 143.
Notes to editors
CQC will publish further details of the inspectors’ findings in a review of compliance on its website at a later date.
CQC has issued a warning notice to European Care (England) Limited requiring action to meet:
- Regulation 9 Health and Social Care Act (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010, (outcome 4) Care and welfare of service users
- Regulation 17 Health and Social Care Act (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010, (outcome 1) Respecting and involving service users
The company has been given a deadline for improvements to be made. If this deadline is not met, CQC has a range of enforcement powers which include restricting the services that a provider can offer, or, in the most serious cases, suspending or cancelling a service. CQC can also issue financial penalty notices and cautions or prosecute the provider for failing to meet essential standards. Any regulatory decision that CQC takes is open to challenge by a registered person through a variety of internal and external appeal processes.