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Reports


Inspection carried out on 12 October 2018

During a routine inspection

Highfield is a ‘care home’. People in care homes receive accommodation and nursing or personal care as single package under one contractual agreement. CQC regulates both the premises and the care provided, and both were looked at during this inspection. The service is a large extended property. Accommodation is arranged over two floors and a lift is available to assist people to get to the upper floor. Highfield provides care for up to 34 older people living with dementia, frailty and nursing care needs. There were 30 people living at the service at the time of our inspection.

The registered manager worked at the service each day and was supported by a deputy manager. A registered manager is a person who has registered with CQC 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.

Our last comprehensive inspection of this service took place in June 2017. Following this inspection, the key areas of Effective and Caring was rated as Good, while the areas of Safe, Responsive and Well Led were rated as Requires Improvement, together with the overall rating of the service.

A further inspection of the service took place in November 2017. This was a focussed inspection concentrating only on the key areas of Safe and Well-led and did not look at whether the service was Caring, Effective or Responsive. At that inspection, staff followed correct and appropriate procedures to promote the safe management of medicines; there was clear guidance for staff and protocols about the administration of medicines which were followed. People were supported in a safe environment and risks identified for people were managed in a way that enabled people to live as independent a life as possible. Accidents and incidents were consistently reviewed, and any potential safeguarding concerns were investigated, and referrals made to the local authority. The service was clean and potential infection control risks addressed. Recruitment procedures were robust and care planning had established people's needs and reflected their wishes about how they wanted to be supported. Staff felt there was good communication and they were clear about their roles. They felt well supported by the registered manager. Feedback was sought from people, relatives and professionals about how the service was run. Audits and checks were carried out each month by the registered and area managers, which were effective in identifying and addressing concerns and driving forward improvements. Following this inspection, the key areas of ‘Safe’ and ‘Well-led’ were rated as Good.

This inspection, completed on 12 and 15 October 2018, was a comprehensive inspection. We looked at all five key areas of the service. Improvement had been made in communication. However, additional steps in the systems and processes used to assess and monitor the operation of the service needed to be taken. This was to ensure the progress made in the service was further developed and sustained. The registered manager and the provider checked all areas of the service regularly to make sure it met the standards required. However, processes were not always effective in rectifying the cause of faults.

The management of people’s medicines was safe. Risks had been identified and action had been taken to manage them. Records about people and the care they received were accurate, complete, held securely and easily accessible to staff when they needed them.

Staff were kind and caring and treated people with dignity and respect. They took time to get to know each person well and provide the care people wanted in the way they preferred. People received the care and support they wanted at the end of their life.

Assessments of people’s needs and any risks had been completed and care had been planned with them, to meet thei

Inspection carried out on 9 November 2017

During an inspection looking at part of the service

This inspection took place on 9 November 2017, it was a focused, unannounced inspection. We looked at whether the service was safe and well-led.

Highfield is a nursing home for up 34 older people some of whom may live with dementia illnesses, physical and sensory impairments as well as other conditions such as diabetes and epilepsy. The home is located in a rural setting outside the village of Bekesbourne. There were 26 people in residence at the time of this inspection.

This service was last inspected on 20 and 21 June 2017 when it was rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ overall. This was because medicines were not managed safely; information about a dose of medicine was missing, some instructions were confusing and protocols about the administration of some medicines were not always complied with. Risks to people had not been properly assessed or minimised and specialist advice intended to reduce risk was not always complied with. Accidents and incidents were not consistently reviewed. A matter that should have been reported to the local authority safeguarding team was not. Areas of the service and some equipment were not clean and posed a potential infection control risk, shortfalls in aspects of recruitment processes, previously pointed out, remained incomplete. Although there had been some improvement to quality assurance, checks were not fully effective, they had failed to identify the concerns evident at the last inspection or address some concerns highlighted at previous inspections. At this inspection we found required improvements had been made.

Staff followed correct and appropriate procedures to promote the safe management of medicines; there was clear guidance for staff and protocols about the administration of medicines were followed. We however identified recording of the use of some prescribed creams as an area that required improvement.

People were protected from the risk of abuse because staff had received safeguarding training and were aware of how to recognise and report safeguarding concerns. Any potential safeguarding concerns were investigated and referrals made to the local authority. We however identified access of visitors to the service as an area that required improvement.

The service and equipment used was clean and hygienic; some floor coverings previously of concern had been replaced in some areas of the service.

Staff knew about whistle blowing and were confident they could raise any concerns with the provider or outside agencies if needed.

People were supported in a safe environment and risks identified for people were managed in a way that enabled people to live as independent a life as possible. Personalised care plans, risk assessments and guidance were in place to help staff to support people safely. Health needs were kept under review, appropriate referrals were made when required, staff knew about and followed recommendations and instructions made by health care professionals.

An appropriately robust system to recruit new staff was in place and made sure staff employed to support people were fit and suitable to work at the service. There were sufficient numbers of staff on duty to make sure people were safe and received the care and support that they needed.

Staff felt there was good communication and they were clear about their roles. They felt well supported by the registered manager. Feedback was sought from people, relatives and professionals about how the service was run.

A number of audits and checks were carried out each month by the registered and area managers, which were effective in identifying and addressing concerns and driving forward improvements. The service notified us of events when they were supposed to and had displayed previous inspection rating.

Inspection carried out on 20 June 2017

During a routine inspection

This inspection took place on 20 and 21 June 2017 and was unannounced.

Highfield is a nursing home for up 34 older people. It is set in a rural location on the outskirts of the village of Bekesbourne. There were 20 people living at the service at the time of this inspection, some of whom lived with dementia type illnesses, impaired mobility, sensory impairment and other conditions such as epilepsy and diabetes.

Accommodation is set over two floors and upstairs bedrooms can be accessed by a passenger lift. However, because of reduced occupancy, the first floor was unoccupied and everybody was accommodated on the ground floor where there is a communal seating area, quiet lounge and dining area.

The last full inspection of Highfield took place in June 2016 where the service was rated overall as ‘Requires Improvement’. Each of the five key areas looked at were rated Requires Improvement with the exception of ‘Caring’ which was rated as ‘Good’. Improvement was needed because we found five of our regulations were breached. These related to concerns about people’s nutritional and hydration needs not being appropriately monitored with issues arising not acted upon and failure to ensure care plans reflected people’s needs and wishes to guide staff in accordance with best practice. There was a failure to ensure protocols for some medicines were in place or have effective systems for the assessment and administration of pain relief. People were placed at risk because of the condition of some parts of the building where improvement was required and some safety measures were not observed. Staffing levels placed people at risk of becoming isolated and the service had not fulfilled its statutory obligation to accurately inform the Commission of the number of deaths occurring of people registered at the service. Following this inspection requirement actions were made and the management of the service submitted actions plans to us setting out how and when improvements would be made.

A further inspection of the service took place in November 2016. This was a focussed inspection concentrating only on the key areas of ‘Safe’ and ‘Well-led’. However, during that inspection we identified concerns about ‘Caring’, so we included this key area in the inspection too. Following this inspection, each of the three key areas looked at were rated as ‘Inadequate’ as well as an overall ‘Inadequate’ rating for the service. This was because there were continued breaches of our regulations relating to insufficient staff; adequate improvement had not been made to aspects of the building, as well as some lapsed safety critical checks, we also found medicines were sill not managed safely. In addition to these continued breaches of regulation we found other new breaches of our regulations. These related the failure to minimise risk to people through referrals to health specialists; the failure to ensure people were protected from neglect and abuse by appropriate referral of incidents to safeguarding authorities; the failure to have robust recruitment processes in place to ensure staff were suitable to work with vulnerable people; the failure to meet some people’s care and social needs and the failure to ensure management processes identified and improved the quality and safety of the service provided, some of which stemmed from a failure to maintain accurate and complete records about people.

The decline in the standards and ‘Inadequate’ rating of the service meant it was placed into ‘Special Measures’. Services in special measures are kept under review and immediate action may be taken to propose to cancel the provider's registration of the service. The latest inspection of this service found some improvement had been made. People and relatives gave positive feedback about the service, however, some aspects of practice potentially placed people at risk and further improvement was needed.

There was a registered manager in post; this was the same person who h

Inspection carried out on 4 November 2016

During an inspection looking at part of the service

The inspection was unannounced and took place on 4 and 8 November 2016. It was carried out in response to information of concern which had been received and was a focused inspection. We planned to look at whether the service was safe and well-led. However during the inspection, we became aware of issues about caring; so we gathered evidence about this area too.

The service is a nursing home for up 34 older people some of whom may live with dementia type illnesses, physical and or sensory impairments. The home is located in a rural setting outside the village of Bekesbourne. There were 23 people in residence at the time of inspection.

This service was last inspected on 2 and 3 June 2016 when it was rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ overall.

There was a registered manager in post. A registered manager is a person who is 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.

Risks to people had not been properly assessed or minimised. This included environmental risks, those associated with being unable to reach call bells; and risks from medicines being poorly managed.

There were not enough staff deployed to meet people’s needs effectively and recruitment processes did not ensure that only suitable staff were taken on.

Accidents and incidents had not been consistently reviewed by the registered manager so that preventative actions could be considered. Not all staff understood their responsibilities around keeping people safe from abuse or neglect, and advice had not always been sought from the local authority when people had unexplained injuries.

Most staff were kind and respectful but not all staff acted to meet people’s needs appropriately.

People’s independence was not actively promoted and some people stayed in bed all the time; when they could have been supported to get up. There was a lack of consideration about older people’s needs and of those of people living with dementia. Their experiences could have been improved with more thought.

There had been a lack of effective leadership in the service for the last two months. This had resulted in the development of a poor culture amongst staff and to people receiving a reduced standard of care in some cases. The provider had reacted to the situation, but at the time of our inspection, support mechanisms put in place for the registered manager and staff had not produced sufficient improvement.

We identified a number of breaches of Regulations. The overall rating for this service is ‘Inadequate’ and the service is therefore 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 th

Inspection carried out on 2 June 2016

During a routine inspection

The inspection was unannounced and took place on 2 & 3 June 2016. The service is a nursing home for up 34 older people some of whom may have dementia type illnesses, physical and or sensory impairments. The home is located in a rural setting outside the village of Bekesbourne. In order to afford everyone single person accommodation the home usually accommodates only 32 people but two rooms can be used as shared accommodation if a need for this arises. Twenty eight people were in residence at the time of inspection. People have their own bedrooms some with ensuites the majority of accommodation is located on the ground floor with three bedrooms located on the first floor accessed by shaft lift.

This service was last inspected on 19 May 2014 when we found the provider was meeting all the regulations. There was a registered manager in post. A registered manager is a person who is 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 treated with kindness and respect by staff but shortfalls in some areas of practice meant that people could be placed at risk. Observations and discussion with staff and relatives showed that there was not enough staff to meet the needs of people living in the home. The lack of flexibility within the staff team led to isolation for those people who stayed in their rooms either by choice or because there were not enough staff, space or appropriate equipment available to enable them to transfer to specialist seating and sit out in communal areas.

Medicines were mostly managed well but improvement was needed with protocols for administration of some medicines. How people were supported with their hydration and nutrition needs was not always well documented to show the action was taken.

Care plans to show how people’s health needs for everyday support and end of life care was supported by staff practice. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) were not notified as required regarding the death of a service user still registered as a resident of the service,

The provider had identified a need for investment in the premises and plans were in hand for some upgrading to take place. We considered however, that some repairs and maintenance needed to be progressed sooner as they posed a risk to people in the home and or their visitors. We asked the provider to ensure that immediate action was taken to address sunken flooring outside the dining room which posed a tripping hazard, and also wear and tear on some wooden handrails which left people at risk from splinters in their hands.

Staff had received fire training, they understood fire procedures and how to evacuate the building and they attended fire drills. We have made a recommendation that the provider seek further advice from the fire service in regard to some of these arrangements.

Quality assurance audits were undertaken, to monitor service quality and address any issues highlighted from, we have recommended that timescales for addressing shortfalls be reviewed to ensure those that impact on the quality of support and experience of care people receive are dealt with as soon as possible.

Staff were working to the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (The MCA provides a framework for acting and making decisions on behalf of people who lack mental capacity to make particular decisions for themselves), but decisions made in the best interest of people were not always well documented in care plans and we have made a recommendation around this.

CQC monitors the operation of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) which applies to care homes. The registered manager had referred a number of people for assessment for DoLS authorisations but these were still to be processed. The registered manager

Inspection carried out on 6 June 2014

During a routine inspection

The inspection was carried out by one Inspector over five hours. During this time we talked with 11 people who were living in the home, and observed staff carrying out care duties with other people. We talked with seven staff and met other staff briefly; and talked with two relatives and a visiting training professional. The manager and deputy manager were present throughout the inspection and assisted us by providing documentation for us to view.

We looked at the answers to five questions: Is the service safe? Is the service effective? Is the service caring? Is the service responsive? Is the service well led?

Is the service safe?

We viewed the communal rooms and some of the bedrooms on the ground floor. The manager told us that the first floor was out of use whilst maintenance work and alterations were being carried out. We saw that the premises were visibly clean in all areas and provided a pleasant environment.

We found that the company had comprehensive procedures in place to check that people had consented to the care and treatment provided for them. People who lacked the mental capacity to make decisions about where they lived or the care that they needed had been appropriately supported by their family members or advocates, and by health and social care professionals, to make decisions on their behalf and in their best interests. The manager and staff showed that they understood their responsibilities under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS).

We inspected medication management and found that appropriate procedures were in place to ensure that people received the right medicines at the right time, with the support of trained nursing staff.

Is the service effective?

People living in the home had suitably detailed care plans which covered all aspects of their care and treatment. This included individual needs assessments, and people�s preferences in regards to their care. We saw that people or their representatives had been involved in all aspects of their care planning.

We found that people were supported by other health and social care professionals to provide them with additional care or treatment as needed.

The home provided people with choices for their dietary needs. We saw that menus were sufficiently varied to provide a nutritious diet. People said �The food is very good here�, and �There is plenty of choice and the cooks do a very good job�.

The home had an on-going training plan in place. We saw that staff kept up to date with required training subjects such as health and safety, moving and handling, fire safety, infection control, and food hygiene. Staff carried out other training to enable them to provide effective care. This included subjects such as understanding dementia, safeguarding vulnerable adults and the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Staff were provided with support through individual supervision meetings, through staff meetings, and through yearly appraisals.

Is the service caring?

People that we talked with spoke highly of the staff and the way in which they cared for them. People�s comments included �The staff are very nice and helpful�; �The staff always come if I ring my call bell�; and �I am very well cared for. I am very pleased to be here.�

We saw that staff spoke to people respectfully and listened to them. They showed kindness and interest in what people were saying.

Care plans showed that staff were informed about people who preferred to have specifically male or female staff to assist them with their personal needs, and staff adhered to this.

We observed staff assisting people with eating and drinking at lunch time. We saw that they did not rush people and engaged them in conversation so as to make the meal a pleasant experience.

Is the service responsive?

The home employed an activities co-ordinator who arranged for a variety of different activities to be available. We saw that care staff also took part in assisting people with activities during the day of our visit. This included three people enjoying karaoke singing with one of the staff; and two people being taken out in the grounds in their wheelchairs.

The staff encouraged people to eat with others at meal times, and to take part in activities with other people so as to prevent them from becoming socially isolated. However, they also respected people�s decision to stay in their own rooms, and checked that they had the things in reach that they needed.

We viewed residents� meeting minutes, and saw that the home implemented changes as a result of listening to people. For example, people had said that they would like to go out more, and the manager was making arrangements to provide this more easily.

People that we spoke to said that if they had any concerns they could �speak to anybody�, and expected their concerns to be dealt with appropriately. We saw that the home had a formal complaints procedure, and the manager carried out investigations and responded to people appropriately.

Is the service well-led?

The company and the manager had systems in place to provide on-going monitoring of the home. This included care plan reviews, and checks for the environment, health and safety, fire safety, staff training needs and medication management.

Staff said that they worked well together as a team and were supported by the management structure. We saw that they interacted well with each other as well as with the people living in the home. The manager and deputy manager provided daily support working alongside the nursing and care staff.

Staff had individual supervision with their heads of department, which enabled them to discuss any training needs or raise any issues.

The company carried out a monthly review of the home to check that it was meeting the essential standards of quality and safety, and to identify any required changes.

Inspection carried out on 5 June 2013

During a routine inspection

People who used the service who could, told us that they were happy with the care they received. They said that they were included in about decisions with their care and felt looked after. One person told us "it's nice here, the staff are warm and friendly and the food is always good" a relative we spoke to told us " my relative has shown some improvement whilst they have been here, we can visit anytime and are always made to feel welcome".

We observed staff interacting with people who use the service in a sensitive manner and saw that they explained the care they delivered at a level individuals could understand. We observed People eating their meals at lunch time and found that people had a choice of dishes from the menu and that drinks were readily available throughout the day. Some people preferred to stay in their rooms and we saw that staff checked on their needs throughout the day.

We found that the home was clean and free from infection and that the provider was in the process of replacing the flooring in some people's rooms. Staff were able to demonstrate their understanding of infection control processes and we saw that policies and procedures were followed.

People who could, had signed their care plans and the correct processes and legal requirements for those who could not fully understand their care needs had been followed under the Mental Capacity Act (2005).

Inspection carried out on 30 August 2012

During a routine inspection

The people we spoke to said they enjoyed living at the home. One person said �it�s lovely here, the staff are friendly and the food is really good�. Another person told us �There are lots of activities available throughout the day and my family are always made to feel very welcome�.