This inspection took place on 17 and 18 March 2015 and was unannounced. The service provides accommodation for up to 76 people who have nursing and/or dementia care needs. There were 39 people living at the service when we visited. The service is split into three areas. Sunflower and Daffodil units provided a mix of nursing and dementia care; Bluebell unit provides accommodation and care for people living with dementia. People lived in each of the units and were able to move freely between them, but spent most of their time in their own areas. Staff were allocated to, and generally worked on a specific unit.
The service did not have a registered manager in place. However, the current manager had applied to become registered with CQC. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the Care Quality Commission to manage the service. Like registered providers, they are ‘registered persons’. Registered persons have legal responsibility for meeting the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated regulations about how the service is run. The lack of a registered manager has been shown to have a detrimental impact on people using the service.
At the last inspection on 9 and 13 October 2014, we identified breaches of Regulations 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 20, 21 and 22 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010. We took enforcement action to prevent the provider from admitting new people to the service until 26 April 2015. The provider sent us an action plan on 23 February 2015 stating they were now meeting the requirements of the regulations.
At this inspection we found monitoring systems were not always effective in identifying areas for improvement and audits of care plans had not been started. As a result, people’s safety was compromised.
Incidents that caused harm to people were not always reported to the manager and were not investigated appropriately. Dangerous substances were found in an area accessible to people. Procedures were also inadequate to ensure the security of the building.
Emergency procedures were inadequate to ensure people’s safety. The risks of people choking were not managed safely and, if people choked or aspirated on fluids, emergency equipment was not immediately available. The fire evacuation register was not up to date. People were not occupying the rooms specified, which could compromise their safety if they had to be evacuated in an emergency.
Bruising or other injuries had occurred which had not been reported to the local safeguarding team. There was inadequate evidence that all of these had been investigated appropriately within the home to prevent future incidents. People did not always receive the health and personal care they required and had developed avoidable skin damage. Action was not always taken when routine observations indicated a need to seek medical advice and the provider’s policies for monitoring people who had suffered head injuries were not always followed.
Care plans were not always representative of people’s current needs and although some contained a lot of individual detail others did not have all necessary information or had conflicting information. Where care plans had been reviewed, this did not necessarily mean the information in them had been updated.
There were appropriate arrangements in place for the safe handling, storage and disposal of medicines and most people received their medicines as prescribed. Records for the administration of topical creams and ointments were not always completed and did not always contain information about where they should be applied. Pain assessments and ‘as and when necessary’ (prn) care plans did not contain sufficient detail for people who were unable to state they were in pain.
Staff did not always follow legislation designed to protect people’s rights. Although staff showed some understanding of the legislation and people were asked for their consent before care or treatment was given, care records demonstrated that staff did not understand how to make decisions on behalf of people who lacked capacity.
We found the provider had made improvements to staff recruitment procedures, training, staff support and to infection control procedures.
People were encouraged to eat well and were positive about the meals provided but they did not always receive the support or supervision they needed to ensure their safety when eating.
People were cared for with kindness and compassion and could make choices about how and where they spent their time. When staff provided support for people to move from one position or location to another, they explained what they were going to do and checked people were ready to move. People’s preferences, likes and dislikes were recorded and known to staff. Support was provided in accordance with people’s wishes.
Staffing levels, including those of the nursing staff, were determined using a formal staffing tool however there were not always enough staff on duty. Staff recruitment procedures were safe and ensured staff were suitable for their role. Staff received training and were supported by senior staff.
Appropriate arrangements had been put in place to manage infection control risks and staff demonstrated a good understanding of infection control procedures.
Although information about the complaints procedure was not available to all visitors, people and visitors were able to make a complaint. These were investigated and where necessary action taken to prevent recurrence of the issue.
People and relatives were able to express their views through meetings with senior managers and the provider’s representative, and surveys of people and their relatives. A range of group and individual activities were provided.
We found a number of breaches of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010. This corresponds to breaches of the health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. You can see what action we have taken at the back of the full version of the report.