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Reports


Inspection carried out on 31 October 2017

During a routine inspection

Lound Hall is registered to provide nursing and personal care to a maximum of 43older people, some of whom were living with dementia. At the time of our visit there were 36 people using the service.

The inspection was unannounced and took place on 31 October 2017 and 1 November 2017. The inspection was brought forward due to concerns raised with us by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and because of a safeguarding concern shared with us by Suffolk County Council.

At our previous inspection on 25 and 30 January 2017, we identified shortfalls in the service which meant people did not always receive the care and support they required. We found that the service was in breach of regulations and needed to make improvements to staffing levels, the management of medicines, activities, the support people received to eat and drink and practices around the Mental Capacity Act (MCA). We rated the service Requires Improvement overall and asked them to provide us with an action plan stating how they would make improvements to the service. At this inspection we identified significant failings which put people at risk of harm. The service continued to breach regulations and had not made the improvements they were required to make following the previous inspection.

The service had a registered manager in place. 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 were put at the risk of significant harm in the absence of clear records and assessments which reflected all current areas of risk and how these should be managed to protect the person from harm. In particular, adequate action was not taken to protect people from the risk of developing a pressure ulcer or to identify and adequately care for pressure ulcers.

There were limited care plans available to guide staff on how to meet people’s needs. For some people, there were no care plans at all and there was confusion from staff about what people’s needs were and how they should be met. Relatives and people using the service raised concerns about staff’s knowledge of their needs and told us they had not been involved in the planning of their care.

People were not supported to maintain good nutrition, and action had not been taken by the service to reduce the risk of people becoming malnourished.

Medicines were not managed and administered safely. Ordering and return procedures for medicines were inadequate and resulted in some people not receiving their prescribed medicines. There were other discrepancies in Medicine Administration Records (MARS) where it was unclear if medicines had been administered.

There were not enough staff to meet people’s needs and provide them with support at the time they needed it. People using the service, relatives, staff and healthcare professionals raised concerns about the staffing level.

The service did not practice safe recruitment procedures. Staff started working for the service before appropriate checks had been carried out to ensure they were safe to work with vulnerable people and had the appropriate character for the role.

People were not supported by staff to have maximum choice and control of their lives. Assessments of people’s capacity had not been completed, and determinations about people’s capacity had been made inappropriately. Improvements were required to the knowledge of the staff and management team around the Mental Capacity Act (MCA).

People were not supported to live full, active lives and to engage in meaningful activity within the service. We observed that some people were socially isolated and disengaged from their surroundings. People who were nursed in bed had little access to engagement or activity.

Improvements were required to the knowledge of the staff team. Staff we spoke with and observations of staff practice did not demonstrate a good knowledge of subjects they had received training in, such as nutrition, MCA and Medicines. Improvements were required to fully implement consistent supervision and appraisal for care staff and nursing staff.

There was a failure of the management team to ensure that systems in place to monitor the quality of the service were effective in identifying shortfalls and areas for improvement. The management team had not taken appropriate action to make necessary improvements following our previous inspection. This meant people had been placed at continual risk of receiving poor care.

There was not an open, honest and transparent culture in the service. People using the service, relatives, staff, healthcare professionals told us they felt a disconnect between the management team and themselves. Relatives and people using the service told us they did not feel listened to and did not have confidence in the management team to take on board their comments and act on these.

Notifications had not been made to CQC where this was necessary.

Following our inspection we were so concerned that we took urgent action to protect people. We have issued a Notice of Decision to prevent further admissions to the service and a Notice of Decision to require the provider to send us information about how they are meeting people’s individual needs.

The overall rating for this service is 'Inadequate' and the service therefore is in 'special measures'. Services in special measures will be kept under review and, if we have not taken immediate action to propose to cancel the provider's registration of the service, will be inspected again within six months.

The expectation is that providers found to have been providing inadequate care should have made significant improvements within this timeframe. If not enough improvement is made within this timeframe so that there is still a rating of inadequate for any key question or overall, we will take action in line with our enforcement procedures to begin the process of preventing the provider from operating this service. This will lead to cancelling their registration or to varying the terms of their registration within six months if they do not improve.

This service will continue to be kept under review and, if needed, could be escalated to urgent enforcement action. Where necessary, another inspection will be conducted within a further six months, and if there is not enough improvement so there is still a rating of inadequate for any key question or overall, we will take action to prevent the provider from operating this service. This will lead to cancelling their registration or to varying the terms of their registration.

For adult social care services the maximum time for being in special measures will usually be no more than 12 months. If the service has demonstrated improvements when we inspect it and it is no longer rated as inadequate for any of the five key questions it will no longer be in special measures.

You can see what action we told the provider to take at the back of the full version of the report.

Inspection carried out on 25 January 2017

During a routine inspection

There was a registered manager in post. 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.

Before the inspection, feedback we had received from people using the service, their relatives, advocates and professionals, which raised concerns over the leadership and governance of the service. They told us the systems in place to monitor the quality of the service people received were not effective enough to independently identify and address shortfalls. Where people told us they felt the service had not effectively listened, and responded to their concerns in a timely manner, it had impacted on their confidence in the ability of the management to address them. This had resulted in the service being required to put in ‘action’ plans to reduce risk to people living in the service, and being given support to improve in areas including care planning and infection control. This had led to improvements in these areas. Work was being undertaken by the provider to gain people’s confidence back. The provider told us they were in the process of recruiting to a new clinical lead to oversee the quality of the nursing being provided. Relatives spoke about feeling more reassured by a more visible presence of the provider’s representative. However, further work was still needed to instil confidence in the daily management of the service, as part of driving continuous improvement.

People told us they felt safe living in Lound Hall, and spoke about the improvements they had seen in the standard of cleanliness within the service.

We found improvements were needed in the management of medicines and staffing levels. This is to ensure people received their medicines as prescribed, and that there were enough staff to monitor, support and respond to people’s individual needs.

Staff received training in core skills to support them providing a safe service. However some infection control and health and safety training needed to be embedded in practice. We found shortfalls in staff’s knowledge of supporting people living with dementia; we have made recommendations around training to support staff in gaining these skills.

People told us they did not have enough access to stimulating activities, linked to their individual interests and needs, to occupy their time. Where people were spending long periods of time without quality interaction, this put people at risk of becoming socially isolated.

People were not always supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and to ensure staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible; the policies and systems in the service did not always support this practice. There was a lack of forums to support people in voicing their views and experiences, and be influential in driving improvements.

Improvements were required to ensure all staff’s interactions with people were caring and empowering so all people feel valued. This included looking how routines can be changed to support the person, not the other way round; more supportive of person centred care. Systems had been put in place to check the contents of people’s care plans were accurate and reflected their needs and preferences. This needed to be developed further, to ensure the person and all staff involved in their care are aware of the contents, so any missing information / inaccuracies are quickly identified.

People complimented the quality of the food. However, we found people were not always supported to ensure that they had enough food and fluid to support their health needs. Records were incomplete and not assessed to make sure that people had enough to eat and drink. Where people of low weight turned down food, or had a low appetite, this was not always being effectively managed. This included offering nutritious, high caloric snacks in-between meals, or as an alternative where people had declined. This put people at risk of losing, or not maintaining their weight gain. We made a recommendation to support staff in improving people’s meal time experiences, especially for people living with dementia.

We found multiple breaches of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. You can see what action we have told the provider to take at the back of the full version of this report