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Archived: Hazelmere

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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 5, 15, 16 September 2014
Date of Publication: 30 October 2014
Inspection Report published 30 October 2014 PDF

There should be enough members of staff to keep people safe and meet their health and welfare needs (outcome 13)

Not met this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Are safe and their health and welfare needs are met by sufficient numbers of appropriate staff.

How this check was done

We looked at the personal care or treatment records of people who use the service, carried out a visit on 5 September 2014, 15 September 2014 and 16 September 2014, talked with people who use the service and talked with staff. We reviewed information given to us by the provider, were accompanied by a pharmacist, talked with commissioners of services and talked with other authorities.

We were supported on this inspection by an expert-by-experience. This is a person who has personal experience of using or caring for someone who uses this type of care service.

Our judgement

There was not enough staff to meet people’s needs.

Reasons for our judgement

Before this inspection we received several concerns reporting that there was not enough staff at Hazelmere and as a result people’s needs were not being met in a timely manner. We spoke with the local authority who also told us they had concerns around staffing levels.

On this inspection we asked people who used the service whether they thought there were enough staff to meet their needs. All of them said there was not enough staff and calls were often missed or late as a result. Comments from them included; “They need more staff. If an emergency occurs then everyone else’s care gets progressively later”, “Staff shortages are a problem recently, although we are lead to believe they are getting more staff. Bank holidays and weekends never go smooth; the timetable doesn’t work over these periods”, “It’s getting a bit better and the manager comes in and does the care if no one is available”, “The girls are run ragged”, “Lots of staff have left and have not been replaced”, “I don’t always get my full allocated time so I feel rushed” and “[My relative] is supposed to have their call at 9am but at weekends it could be 11am. It feels very unreliable”.

Several people who used the service told us they wished to be supported by people who they knew well and had concerns that they never knew who was going to be providing care each day. People told us they were aware of an upcoming meeting so that all people who lived at Hazelmere could get to meet all of the carer’s. One person told us; “When I raised concerns about not wanting a particular individual or different carers my opinions were dismissed”. Another said; “I can understand if my carer is off sick or on holiday. I just want to know who is coming into my home”. A couple of people provided positive responses. One said; “The new manager has sorted out the staff and it is much better”. Another told us; “I asked for a different carer and the manager changed things quickly”.

We spoke with four members of the care team. They told us that staffing levels had improved very recently but things had been a struggle due to sickness and holidays over the summer period. They said that because of this people’s calls had been late or missed. Staff said that all people who used the service had a pendant to press if they needed assistance and due to answering these calls, this would often delay the care to be provided to others.

We looked at the staff rota and saw it was planned ahead in advance. We saw there was six care staff allocated to work between the hours of 0700-1500 and four care staff between 1500-2200. Two staff were on duty throughout the night in case people required assistance in their apartments. Due to the concerns that people had raised, we found that staffing numbers were insufficient to meet people’s care needs at Hazelmere.

We spoke with the manager and the regional manager about staffing levels during our visit. We were told that some staff members were to be offered permanent contracts and recruitment was on going to employ seven full time staff to the care team. We were told that the new staff would be used to answer the pendant calls so that other staff members would be able to provide care to other people who used the service at the allocated time. The regional manager told us that an administration assistant was also being recruited for so that the care team could concentrate on supporting people who lived at Hazelmere with less emphasis on paperwork.