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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 24 May 2011
Date of Publication: 12 July 2011

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

People using the service were not supported by sufficient numbers of staff to meet their needs.

Overall, therefore, we found that there are areas of non compliance with this outcome.

User experience

We received information before we visited the service telling us that there were not enough staff on duty to meet people’s needs. They gave examples of people having to wait for a long time to be helped up in the morning.

Visitors to the service told us that they were aware of staff shortages in the home, but said that sometimes staff from the office would come and help people to eat their meals at lunchtime. One person told us that they had noticed the use of agency staff had increased recently. Visitors told us that they did not feel there were enough staff as they had no time to spend with people to sit and talk with them.

One person told us that they thought it was good that the staff had a good grasp of English and so there were no language barriers between them and the people that use the service.

Visitors generally commented positively about the approach of the staff stating that “99% of the staff put that extra bit in and are really friendly” and “the activities worker circulates all the time in the lounge giving people a boost”.

Other evidence

Staff told us that there were not enough staff members on duty to meet the needs of the people using the service. They gave examples, including for the morning we visited, where some people were not helped to get up from bed until 11.20am. We saw that people were not helped to go to the toilet for long periods of time during the morning and the staff told us this was because they were still helping other people to get up.

Following our visit the manager sent us documentation to show how they had worked out the staffing numbers for each shift for the service. This allowed for seven staff on duty for the morning shift to care for 50 people that use the service. Staff told us this means they each have to help seven people to get up in the morning. They said they started helping the first person up at 08.15am and that if they spent half an hour with each person the last person would not be up until 11.45am.

We saw that some people spent long periods of time sitting in the lounge without any staff interaction. People are at risk of isolation and neglect of their personal care needs if there are insufficient numbers of staff to attend to their needs.