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Archived: The Oaks Nursing Home

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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 30 April 2012
Date of Publication: 25 July 2012
Inspection Report published 25 July 2012 PDF

People should be cared for by staff who are properly qualified and able to do their job (outcome 12)

Not met this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Are safe and their health and welfare needs are met by staff who are fit, appropriately qualified and are physically and mentally able to do their job.

How this check was done

Our judgement

The provider was not meeting this Regulation.

People could not be assured that they were supported by suitably qualified, experienced and skilled staff who had been effectively recruited.

User experience

We observed people who lived at the service but our evidence from these observations did not relate to this standard or regulation.

Other evidence

We set a compliance action in this outcome area following our last inspection of the service on 21 March 2012. The providers sent us an action plan and they told us that they had assessed all recruitment documentation. They said a new checking system had been put into place an easily followed format. They also gave us verbal assurances that they had checked all recruitment files and that they now complied with legal requirements.

We looked at the recruitment files of nine members of staff employed by the service. We found there were issues of concern in all nine of the files. This meant we were concerned about the effectiveness of the recruitment procedures in place.

One of the staff files we looked at did not contain evidence of any references obtained prior to the staff member starting working at the home.

In several cases, references about staff member’s conduct in their previous employment had been sent to personal addresses, rather than the business address of the company. This meant the providers had no way of verifying the identity of the referees or of checking they were in a position to comment on the person’s suitability to work with vulnerable people.

We saw that a reference for two members of staff had been obtained from the home address of a person who claimed to have employed them both. This person gave a reference for one of the members of staff in 2011, despite documenting on the reference they had retired from the service in 2008. This meant they had not worked at the service for the last three years of the person’s employment and could not comment on their conduct in relation to this time period.

The recruitment files of two members of staff did not contain evidence that a criminal records bureau check (CRB) had been carried out. This meant these staff were employed without an appropriate check to make sure they did not have any convictions which may present a risk to people living at the service.

We saw that in some staff files, where the original criminal records check document had been destroyed in line with the provider's policy, a form had been kept to provide evidence the check had been carried out. However, the form did not state whether any convictions had been disclosed on the form which may need assessing to make sure there was no risk to people living at the service. This meant there was no way of auditing if there were any convictions disclosed and if a risk assessment was needed to ensure the member of staff was safe to work with vulnerable people.

We saw a number of files where there were gaps in people’s employment history without any explanation. This meant that the providers could not be assured that those staff members had not worked with vulnerable adults or children during these periods and failed to disclosed it. Therefore the providers could not be assured that the employment history of these staff did not present a risk to the vulnerable people in their care.

Some files did not contain evidence to demonstrate that staff were physically and mentally fit to work at the service which may place them and people living at the service at risk of harm.

We found there was inconsistent information in one staff file about the reasons they left their previous employment in a health or social care setting. The information from a referee was in direct conflict with information given by the employee on their application form and in interview. There was no evidence this discrepancy had been discussed with the employee to assess whether they were trustworthy and fit to work with vulnerable people.

We spoke with the providers about our findings. They told us that the files had been checked by a team of people; though they confirmed they had not double checked them personally to ensure their system had been implemented appropriately and to the required standard.