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Archived: River Court Care Home Requires improvement

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Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating

Requires improvement

Updated 20 May 2016

River Court is a purpose built nursing and residential care home. The home is located on the outskirts of Watford Town Centre. It has the capacity for up to 120 elderly or frail residents, some of whom live with dementia and it also provides nursing care/palliative care.

There were 116 people living at the service on the day of our inspection. River Court consists of four units, Hampermill, Gade, Chess and Colne. We did not visit one of the units due to an outbreak of infection of which 10 people had been affected.

The service has a registered manager in post although they were not present on the day of this visit. They were registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) 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 and associated Regulations about how the service is run. However, a relief manager provided the management support and guidance on the day of our visit.

We last carried out an inspection of the service on 18 October 2013 due to concerns raised regarding the administration of medicines. At this inspection we found the service was meeting this standard. The last scheduled inspection carried out at this service was 24 May 2013 where the service was found to be meeting the required standards.

At this inspection we found some areas of the environment were poorly maintained and found to be dirty. This included soiled armchairs and a strong smell of urine in one of the units where people lived.

People told us they felt safe and secure living at River Court. Generally we found staff were knowledgeable in recognising signs of potential abuse and knew how to report concerns both within the organisation and externally if required.

Assessments were undertaken to identify any risks to people who received a service and to the staff who supported them. There were sufficient numbers of staff available to meet people’s individual support and care needs at all times, including during the night and at weekends. People received appropriate support from staff to enable them to take their medicines.

People and their relatives felt confident to raise any concerns and told us they were confident any concerns would be resolved without delay. People received their care and support from a staff team that fully understood people’s health and care needs and who had the skills and experience to meet them.

We found that people who used the service were not always treated with dignity and respect but their privacy was maintained.

The activities programme provided did not always reflect the individual needs of people who used the service and could benefit from being improved.

Safe and effective recruitment practices were followed to make sure that all staff were of good character, and were suitable to work in a care home environment as well as being fit for the roles they were being employed to carry out. Staff records confirmed checks had been made which ensured they were safe to work with vulnerable adults before a position was offered to them.

Staff were well supported by the management team and received an induction from senior staff when they first started working at the home. They received on going training and support to enable them to perform their roles effectively. Staff had regular individual supervision meetings, team meeting and had an annual appraisal to review their development and performance.

People were supported to maintain good health and had access to health and social care professionals when necessary. They were provided with a healthy balanced diet that met their individual needs.

People’s views about the service were gathered using surveys and verbal feedback. Feedback was used in a positive way to improve the quality of the overall service. The majority of people we spoke to were positive and complimentary about all aspects of the service.

Relatives, staff an

Inspection areas



Updated 20 May 2016

The service was safe.

People felt safe and were supported by staff trained to recognise and respond effectively to the risks of abuse.

Safe and effective recruitment practices were followed to ensure that staff were suitable.

Sufficient numbers of staff were always available to meet people�s individual needs in a timely way.

People were supported to take their medicines safely by trained staff.

Potential risks to people�s health and well-being were identified and managed effectively.



Updated 20 May 2016

The service was effective.

People�s wishes and consent were obtained before care and support was provided.

Staff were trained to help them meet people�s needs effectively.

People were supported to eat a healthy balanced diet which met their needs.

People were supported to have their day to day health needs met.


Requires improvement

Updated 20 May 2016

The service was not always caring.

Care was not always provided in a way that promoted people�s dignity.

People were cared for in a kind and compassionate way by staff who knew them well and were familiar with their needs.

People and their relatives where appropriate were involved in the planning and reviews of the care and support provided.

The confidentiality of personal information had been maintained.


Requires improvement

Updated 20 May 2016

The service was not always responsive.

People were not always provided with an activity programme that met their needs or respected their choices.

People's care was responsive to their individual needs.

People were supported to be involved in decisions about their care.

People's concerns were taken seriously and acted upon.


Requires improvement

Updated 20 May 2016

The service was not well led.

Effective systems were in place but did not always identify areas of the service that required improvement.

People, relatives and healthcare professionals were all positive about the manager, staff and how the service operated.