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Inspection carried out on 1 December 2020

During an inspection looking at part of the service

The Poplars Care Home is a care home which provides nursing and residential care for up to 43 people. Care is primarily provided for older people, some of whom are living with dementia. At the time of this inspection there were 37 people using the service.

We found the following examples of good practice.

Systems were in place to allow safe visiting, including screening visitors to reduce any potential infection risk, before they entered the building.

Social distancing was encouraged, and changes had been made to communal areas to promote this. Wherever possible people were isolating in their room during the outbreak to minimise risk.

Staff wore personal protective equipment (PPE). Training in infection prevention and control measures and the appropriate use of PPE had taken place. The manager completed regular observation of staff practice to ensure good hand hygiene and correct use of PPE.

Systems were in place to admit people safely into the home.

A regular programme of Covid-19 testing was in place for people and the staff team. The provider had sourced rapid test kits and these were to be used immediately someone in the home presented with symptoms or if agency staff were needed in an emergency and their Covid status was not known.

Further information is in the detailed findings below.

Inspection carried out on 21 February 2019

During a routine inspection

About the service: The Poplars Care Home is a care home which provides nursing and residential care for up to 43 people. Care is primarily provided for older people, some of whom are living with dementia. At the time of this inspection there were 34 people using the service.

People’s experience of using this service: People and relatives were positive about the caring nature of staff. One person told us, "I am settled and really happy here."

There were enough staff employed and on duty at any one time to meet the needs of people. The provider had an effective recruitment and selection procedure in place and carried out relevant checks when they employed staff. Staff were suitably trained and received regular supervisions and appraisals.

Accidents and incidents were recorded and analysed, and risk assessments were in place. The manager and staff understood their responsibilities about safeguarding. Arrangements were in place for the safe administration of medicines.

People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible; the policies and systems in the service supported this practice. At the time of the inspection work was ongoing to strengthen their documentation relating to mental capacity to ensure that records evidenced how staff were following the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

People told us their privacy and dignity were respected and their independence encouraged. People were able to participate in a range of activities if they chose to do so.

The provider was open and approachable which enabled people to share their views and raise concerns. People told us if they were worried about anything they would be comfortable to talk with a member of staff or the provider.

The provider monitored quality, acted quickly when change was required, sought people's views and planned ongoing improvements.

For more details, please see the full report which is on the CQC website at www.cqc.org.uk

Rating at last inspection: Good report published September 2016).

Why we inspected: We inspected the service as part of our inspection schedule for ‘Good’ rated services.

Follow up: We will continue to monitor intelligence we receive about the service until we return to visit as per our re-inspection programme. If any concerning information is received, we may inspect sooner.

Inspection carried out on 2 August 2016

During a routine inspection

This inspection took place on 2 August 2016 and was unannounced. This meant the registered provider and staff did not know we would be visiting. A second day of inspection took place on 3 August 2016 and was announced.

The service was last inspected in August 2015. At that inspection we found the service did not carry out effective recruitment checks on new staff, did not safely manage medicines and did not effectively manage staff training. These were breaches of our regulations. We did not take enforcement action but required the service to submit a plan telling us how they would be compliant with the regulations. When we returned for this inspection we found the issues identified had been addressed.

Poplars Care Home is located in Thornaby and provides accommodation for up to 43 people who require nursing and personal care. Accommodation is provided over two floors and includes communal lounge and dining areas. Nursing care is provided on the ground floor and residential care on the first floor. There are garden areas surrounding the building which are secure and accessible to people who use the service. A car park is located at the front of the home. At the time of our inspection 38 people were using the service.

The service had a registered manager. 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.

People and their relatives said people were safe at the service. Medicines were managed safely. People were supported at their own pace to access their medicines when they wanted them.

Recruitment checks were carried out to minimise the risk of unsuitable staff being employed. Staffing levels were regularly reviewed to ensure enough staff were employed to support people safely. People and their relatives said there were enough staff to support people safely.

Risks to people were assessed and plans put in place to minimise the chances of them occurring. Risks to people arising from the premises and equipment were also assessed and reviewed. Accidents and incidents were investigated and recorded to see if any lessons could be learned to prevent repetition. Plans were in place to support people in emergency situations. There was a business contingency plan in place, to advise staff on how a continuity of care could be provided during events that disrupted the service.

Staff had a good understanding of safeguarding issues and procedures were in place to minimise the risk of abuse occurring.

Staff received mandatory training in a number of areas, including fire safety, food safety, infection control, moving and handling, safeguarding and health and safety. Staff spoke positively about the training they received and felt supported by regular supervisions and appraisals.

The service was working within the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Staff had a working knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act and could describe how they applied its principles when delivering care.

People were supported to maintain a healthy diet and were given choice over what they wanted to eat and drink. People were supported to access external professionals to maintain and improve their health.

People told us they were treated with dignity and respect and we saw examples of this during the inspection. People spoke positively about the support they received, describing it as kind and caring. Relatives we spoke with said staff were caring and kind. Procedures were in place to arrange advocates and end of life care should they be needed.

Care delivered was based on people’s assessed needs and preferences. Care plans were reviewed every month to ensure they reflected people’s current support needs. People and their relatives told us they were involved in

Inspection carried out on 04 & 14 August 2015

During a routine inspection

We carried out our unannounced inspection on 04 & 14 August 2015. The Poplars is registered to provide personal and nursing care, and accommodation for up to 43 people. The service was registered with CQC under the current registered provider on 13 April 2015, but was an existing service before this. The service is located in Thornaby and is a purpose built care home. Accommodation is provided over two floors and includes communal lounge and dining areas. There are garden areas surrounding the building which are secure and accessible to people who use the service. A car park is located at the front of the home. At the time of our inspection visit the service had 37 people living there, including 1 person receiving respite care.

The service had a registered manager, who has been registered with us in respect of the service’s new registration since 16 April 2015. Before this they were registered as manager for the service’s previous registration. 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.

People who used the service told us they were safe and could raise concerns if they needed to. Staff were aware of safeguarding and whistle blowing [telling someone] procedures. People using the service, relatives and staff told us that management were approachable and listened to them.

Improvements were needed to staff recruitment processes and records, to ensure that the required information was received and checked before staff started work. Overall there were sufficient numbers of staff on duty to meet the basic care needs of people using the service, but we also received feedback from people that sometimes staff struggled to have time to provide more individual care and attention. There was also some confusion about the systems used to determine what safe and appropriate staffing levels were at the service.

The service had health and safety related procedures, including systems for reporting accidents and incidents, and maintaining equipment. The care records we looked at included risk assessments, which had been completed to identify any risks associated with delivering the person’s care.

Overall the systems in place for the storage and management of medicines were generally safe. However, we have required some improvements to the records related to medicines and storage arrangements, to ensure that medication is always stored within safe temperature ranges.

People who used the service told us that their staff were competent and looked after them well. Staff were appropriately supported through management supervision, appraisals and meetings. However, we found that staff hadn’t always received the training that was appropriate to their role and training records were difficult to access and interpret.

The registered manager was aware of their responsibilities under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). Staff were also able to describe the principles of the MCA and how people’s legal rights should be protected. At the time of our visit 5 people living at the home were subject to the DoLS.

People told us that they received enough food and drink, with a choice of regular meals and snacks provided. Records showed that people’s nutritional wellbeing was assessed and monitored. We saw that staff were aware of people’s individual dietary preferences and needs. Where people were at risk of dehydration or poor nutrition systems were in place to monitor this and involve other professionals.

People told us that they were supported to access healthcare professionals when needed and the records we saw supported this. Two healthcare professionals who visited people at The Poplars told us that they had no concerns about the care people received and that staff involved them when needed and acted on their advice.

People who used the service told us that staff were caring, treated them well, respected their privacy and encouraged their independence. Staff were able to describe how they worked to maintain people’s independence, privacy and dignity.

People’s care records showed that their needs had been assessed and planned, with details about people’s individual wishes and preferences recorded. People told us that they received the care they needed and staff were able to tell us about people’s individual needs and how they met these. However, we found that although staff worked hard to meet people’s basic care needs, people did not always receive the support they wanted to maintain their individual interests or links with the local community.

Information about raising complaints was on display and issues and concerns people had raised had been listened to and acted on. A record of complaints and the actions taken in response was available and showed that complaints have been investigated and responded to by the registered manager.

People told us that the new registered provider had responded well to requests for resources or equipment and were investing in the service. Staff felt that there was a strong staff team and that the registered manager was approachable, supportive and listened to them.

A system of audits and checks was in place to help ensure that people received a good quality service. Regular meetings with people who used the service, relatives and staff took place and included asking people for feedback on their experiences.

We found breaches of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014: Staffing, Fit and proper persons employed and safe care and treatment. You can see what action we told the provider to take at the back of the full version of the report.