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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 8 August 2011
Date of Publication: 12 October 2011
Inspection Report published 12 October 2011 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

Our judgement

Although staffing levels had recently improved, the staff were not yet being effectively deployed or managed by senior staff to meet the needs of the people in the home. There remained shortfalls in the permanent staff team, including at senior and team leader level. The home was still using significant numbers of bank and agency staff.

Overall we found that improvements were needed for this essential standard.

User experience

One person living in the home said that the staff were all very good “although a few were a bit quick tempered, which means that they sometimes raised their voices too much”.

Other evidence

There was a newly appointed acting manager in place who was on leave on the day we visited. However, we met most of the staff and managers who had been drafted in from elsewhere in the trust to oversee the establishment of the new management team and the completion of the trust‘s action plan. The senior team presented a lot of plans for the future development of the home. A copy of the new management team hierarchy was supplied to the inspectors after the visit, to clarify who was responsible for which aspects of the ongoing management of the home. Some staff we spoke to appeared confused about who to refer to about different aspects of the home’s operation.

We examined the new staff rotas which were clear and easy to understand. They identified key roles such as those who could give medication and which staff were designated drivers for the home’s vehicle. They clearly identified who was working in each building, although they did not identify the shift leader. The assistant manager told us that they planned to have a team leader/senior leading each shift once all the team leader and senior posts were filled. The assistant manager was covering some shifts in the role of shift leader. The rotas included an overlap between shifts to enable staff to handover relevant information to support continuity of care.

We were told by staff that in the past the staffing levels, especially in the newer building, had been insufficient to meet the needs of the people living at Dysons Wood House. This was acknowledged by senior management and staffing levels had now been increased. Recruitment was in progress to fill vacancies, but considerable numbers of agency and bank staff were being used in the interim. We were told that the bank staff were familiar with the people in the home. Although the staffing levels had recently been increased we observed that staff were not being managed or utilised effectively. We saw staff talking to each other and not engaging with people or encouraging constructive activity.

One staff member told us there had not been enough staff last year and staff had to do the care, be cooks and cleaners and do daily activities. She told us this had improved in the last three weeks but said that it was still hard for the long-term staff as there were a lot of new and agency staff. She told us she was working a thirteen and a half hour day and this was not unusual.