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Archived: The Old Rectory Inadequate

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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 26, 27 June 2014
Date of Publication: 9 August 2014
Inspection Report published 09 August 2014 PDF

People should be cared for by staff who are properly qualified and able to do their job (outcome 12)

Enforcement action taken

We checked that people who use this service

  • Are safe and their health and welfare needs are met by staff who are fit, appropriately qualified and are physically and mentally able to do their job.

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 26 June 2014 and 27 June 2014, observed how people were being cared for and talked with people who use the service. We talked with carers and / or family members, talked with staff, reviewed information given to us by the provider and reviewed information sent to us by other authorities. We talked with other authorities.

We used the Short Observational Framework for Inspection (SOFI). SOFI is a specific way of observing care to help us understand the experience of people who could not talk with us.

Our judgement

People were not cared for, or supported by, suitably skilled staff who were of good character.

Reasons for our judgement

There were not effective recruitment and selection processes in place. The provider had a “Staff Recruitment & Selection Policy” in place but this had not been reviewed since February 2011.

We looked at seven staff files. Each of them contained an application form, proof of identity, job description and appointment letter.

The provider was not following its own policy in regard to the interview process. The provider’s policy stated that “Job interviews provide an opportunity for the home to get the information it needs about the applicants to decide which is the most suitable for the position in question”, “Gaps in the employment record are routinely explored” and “The assessments made by interviewers must be formally recorded on an interview assessment form”. We found that one staff application had brief interview notes and that one had incomplete notes. There were no interview notes or assessment forms on the other five files. Since our inspection the service has told us that they are recruiting for a night carer and that they had conducted one interview. The deputy manager told us that they used interview questions and took notes and provided CQC with a copy.

One staff had completed the employment history section of their application form. One of their references was from a previous employer, but this employment was not on the employment history section of the application form. There was no evidence to demonstrate that the provider had queried this at interview as there was no record of any interview.

Appropriate checks were not always undertaken before staff began work. The provider’s policy stated, in regard to references, “Two written references are obtained before an appointment is confirmed” and “All offers of employment are made on the condition that two satisfactory written references are obtained in respect of the applicant. If the references prove to be unsatisfactory, the offer of employment may be withdrawn without the home being in breach of contract”. We saw evidence that the provider wrote to referees and obtained, where possible, written references in accordance with their policy. However, one staff record had a written reference which stated that the person was “not suited” to the service and had been “asked to leave”. The provider had taken reasonable steps to confirm the reasons their employment had ended by following up with a telephone call and the notes made at the time showed, “Doesn’t think nights would suit them. Didn’t like to be told what to do. Overpowering. Would not re-employ”. The provider employed this person as a night carer. There was no evidence that the provider had discussed these concerns with the staff member and put safeguards in place to protect people using the service.

Another application showed that a staff member had worked with people with challenging behaviour but did not give the dates. This previous employer had been given by the staff member as a referee. Handwritten notes on the application stated, “Called - Unable to complete a reference as not permitted to give a bad reference”. There were no notes on file to demonstrate that this had been discussed with the staff member who had been employed and no record of any safeguards in place by the provider to ensure people’s safety.

We found that the provider had a “Criminal Records Policy” in place which stated that the home would, “Comply with the law and the criminal records bureau (CRB) disclosure service to obtain information to enable it to assess the suitability of applicants or employment in positions of trust”. This policy was last reviewed on 24 February 2011 so had not been updated to reflect the changes in the way checks are obtained from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

This policy stated, “Where a conviction has been disclosed in an individual’s application for a post with the home, a discussion will take place at the end of the interview regarding the offence and it