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Easthill Home for Deaf People Good

Our most recent reports on this service are available as British sign language videos. You can watch the video of our December 2015 report here. British sign language videos of our July 2015 report and our November 2014 report are also available.
All reports

Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 9, 17 September 2014
Date of Publication: 1 November 2014
Inspection Report published 01 November 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 9 September 2014 and 17 September 2014, observed how people were being cared for and checked how people were cared for at each stage of their treatment and care. We talked with people who use the service and talked with staff.

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.

We used British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter to help us communicate with people and staff.

Our judgement

There were not enough qualified, skilled and experienced staff to meet people’s needs at all times. People did not always receive safe, appropriate and timely care and support.

Reasons for our judgement

We discussed staffing levels with the manager. They showed us a tool they had used to assess the dependency levels of people using the service and we saw some people’s dependency levels had been calculated. However, these had not been completed for all people and the results had not been analysed or used to determine how many staff were needed to meet people’s needs. The manager said this was assessed by consulting with staff, working some shifts themselves and observing care being delivered.

The manager told us they had recently increased staffing at night from one “wakeful” staff member and one “sleeping” staff member (who could be awoken if needed) to two “wakeful” staff who remained awake all night. They said this had been successful and staff felt this was appropriate. The manager was clear that three care staff were needed during the day but said this not always achievable due to staff shortages. They told us they felt staff shortages had “little impact” on people, but that it “increased the risks” of people not receiving the care and treatment they required. They attributed the shortages to the difficulties in recruiting care staff who could use British Sign Language (BSL), which they said was an essential qualification for the role.

We looked at the duty roster for the four weeks before our inspection, which showed there were only five shifts over the 28 day period when three care staff were allocated for the morning or evening shifts. All other shifts had two care staff on duty. Therefore, the required staffing levels were regularly not achieved; the provider had not taken appropriate steps to ensure there were sufficient numbers of staff to meet people’s needs at all times.

Most people told us staff responded quickly when they pressed their call buttons, although one person said they often had to wait for assistance, because both staff members were busy assisting a person who required the support of two staff members. They told us there were “only two staff; we need more” They added, “They help [another person], but sometimes I get forgotten”. They also told us they had not been supported to go shopping for a birthday present for a relative because there were not enough staff to take them.

Care staff told us they felt under pressure to work long hours to provide the necessary cover. They said they were particularly busy because there was no cleaner and they had to find time to clean people’s rooms as well as provide care. They told us one person frequently became anxious and displayed behaviour that challenged others, so needed one-to-one support most of the time; and two people needed two care staff to support them safely with transfers and personal care. One staff member described staffing levels as “very poor”, saying that staff were working a “ridiculous amount of hours, up to 70 hours a week”.

Staff said when there were two members of care staff on duty, one would be busy supporting the person who needed one-to-one support and the other would be “run ragged” trying to do all the other tasks, including providing care, cleaning and administering medicines. Similarly, they told us both staff members could be busy supporting one of the people who needed support from two staff members, and the person who needed the one-to-one support would be left unattended. One staff member said, “Residents therefore don’t get the attention they need”. Another staff member said there were times when people wanted to go out, but could not because a staff member was not available to support them and ensure they were safe. Consequently, due to a lack of staff, people did not always receive safe, appropriate and timely care and support.