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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 23, 28 August 2013
Date of Publication: 15 October 2013
Inspection Report published 15 October 2013 PDF


Inspection carried out on 23, 28 August 2013

During a routine inspection

At the time of our inspection there were 73 people living at Lucerne House nursing home. The service consisted of three units known as Shillingford unit, which provides care for people with dementia; Ide Unit, which provides nursing care for older people, and Alphinbrook Unit, which provides nursing care for people with physical disabilities.

We spoke with 16 people who used the service, along with 13 visitors/relatives to gain their views of the service provided. We also received information from two relatives following the inspection who raised concerns about the standard of care provided and staffing levels. We spoke with 23 members of staff including the senior management team, nursing staff, care staff, ancillary staff and agency staff.

People we met during our inspection told us that they were generally satisfied with the service they were provided with. They often spoke highly of the dedication of the staff team. Comments included, �The staff are nice to me�, �All of the staff treat us with respect and consideration�, �Staff are lovely. They couldn�t do more for me�. When asked if there were any improvements which could be made, six people told us they would like to see more staff available. Comments included, �The biggest problem is the lack of staff. This means I have to wait for attention�; �There are not always enough staff. Sometimes I can�t find staff to help me�; �I can wait for 30 minutes or more for help. The staff are always busy� and �I wish there were more staff. That�s my only negative comment�.

Not all the people we met were able to verbally tell us about the care they received and their experience of living in the home. Therefore we observed how staff interacted and supported people, to enable us to make a judgement on how their needs were being met.

Some relatives told us they were happy with the overall care provided. One relative told us, �The staff understand X, his character and humour�. Another relative told us, �We are happy with the care although they do appear to be short staffed at times�. Other comments included; �Mum is looked after well. She gets on with the staff. They make her laugh�; �We are appreciative of care. There are incredible individuals within the staff team who go that extra mile�; �There are lots of lovely staff, however, I am not sure there are enough of them. Some people here are very ill and need a lot of attention�.

We spoke with a range of health and social care professionals including two GPs; a speech and language therapist (SALT); a care manager; continuing care nurse and a tissue viability nurse. Professionals were positive about the care provided on Shillingford and Alphinbrook saying that staff acted on and responded to their recommendations. However, concerns were raised with us about the staffing levels on Ide Unit and how this impacted on the level of care provided to some people.

During this inspection we identified five areas which required improvement. People did not always experience care, treatment and support that met their needs and protected their rights. This service provided care and support to a high number of people with complex needs and high dependency, including people with palliative care needs. We found that this was not reflected in the numbers of staff available to provide care. People were not always protected from unsafe or unsuitable equipment. There was a complaints system available, however information provided to people about the system was not accurate. Comments and complaints people made were not always responded to appropriately.