• Care Home
  • Care home

Skylark House

Overall: Requires improvement read more about inspection ratings

St Marks Lane, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 5PU (01403) 247010

Provided and run by:
Care UK Community Partnerships Ltd

Latest inspection summary

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Background to this inspection

Updated 11 October 2022

The inspection

We carried out this inspection under Section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (the Act) as part of our regulatory functions. We checked whether the provider was meeting the legal requirements and regulations associated with the Act. We looked at the overall quality of the service and provided a rating for the service under the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

As part of this inspection we looked at the infection control and prevention measures in place. This was conducted so we can understand the preparedness of the service in preventing or managing an infection outbreak, and to identify good practice we can share with other services.

Inspection team

The inspection team consisted of two inspectors and an Expert by Experience. An Expert by Experience is a person who has personal experience of using or caring for someone who uses this type of care service.

Service and service type

Skylark House is a ‘care home’. People in care homes receive accommodation and nursing and/or personal care as a single package under one contractual agreement dependent on their registration with us. CQC regulates both the premises and the care provided, and both were looked at during this inspection.

Registered Manager

This service is required to have a registered manager. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the Care Quality Commission to manage the service. This means that they and the provider are legally responsible for how the service is run and for the quality and safety of the care provided. At the time of our inspection there was a registered manager in post.

Notice of inspection

This inspection was unannounced.

What we did before the inspection

The provider was not asked to complete a Provider Information Return (PIR) prior to this inspection. A PIR is information providers send us to give some key information about the service, what the service does well and improvements they plan to make. We reviewed information we had received about the service since the last inspection. We used this information to plan our inspection.

During the inspection

We spoke with seven people and three relatives to gain their views on the care provided. We spent time in the home whilst people were relaxing in the communal lounge, dining area and receiving support from staff. This gave us an opportunity to observe staff interactions with people. We spoke with nine members of staff including the registered manager, one nurse, two senior carers and five care assistants. We reviewed records that included care plans, risk assessments and medicine administration records. We also looked at records relating to the management of the service, including policies and procedures, quality assurance systems and staff training plans.

Overall inspection

Requires improvement

Updated 11 October 2022

About the service

Skylark House is a residential care home providing personal and nursing care for up to 82 people in purpose-built accommodation. The service provides support to older people, many of whom have dementia, and younger people with disabilities. At the time of our inspection there were 75 people using the service.

People’s experience of using this service and what we found

People were not all receiving the social stimulation they needed to support their well-being, we identified this as a breach of regulation. The provider’s systems for monitoring quality had not identified this shortfall. People, their relatives and staff were consistent in their feedback that staff were often too busy to spend meaningful time with people unless it was to provide support with personal care. The registered manager described planned improvements for people’s social support.

People were supported to plan for end of life care. Staff were knowledgeable about people’s needs and systems were in place to ensure people received the medicines and care they needed to manage symptoms effectively.

There were enough suitable staff to care for people safely. There was an ongoing recruitment programme to ensure vacant posts were filled with regular staff. People spoke highly of the staff and described them as kind and caring. A person told us, “I think the staff are wonderful and I can’t praise them highly enough.”

Risks to people were assessed and managed safely. People received their medicines as prescribed and when they needed them. People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests; the policies and systems in the service supported this practice.

Care plans reflected people’s needs and were updated regularly and when their needs changed, including end of life care plans. Complaints and concerns were acted upon to make improvements. The registered manager described a learning culture saying, “If we get things wrong, we must apologise and learn from our mistakes, there’s no point in being defensive, it’s better to be open and make improvements.”

People, their relatives and staff were consistent in their praise of the management of the service. One person told us, “There is a lot to manage and it all runs well.”

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

Rating at last inspection The last rating for this service was good (published 5 April 2018).

Why we inspected

The inspection was prompted in part due to concerns received about end of life care. As a result, we undertook a focused inspection to review the key questions of safe, responsive and well-led only. We found no evidence during this inspection that people were at risk of harm from this concern. We did find other areas of practice that required improvement. Please see the responsive section of this full report.

We looked at infection prevention and control measures under the safe key question. We look at this in all care home inspections even if no concerns or risks have been identified. This is to provide assurance that the service can respond to COVID-19 and other infection outbreaks effectively.

For those key questions not inspected, we used the ratings awarded at the last inspection to calculate the overall rating. You can read the report from our last comprehensive inspection, by selecting the ‘all reports’ link for Skylark House on our website at www.cqc.org.uk

The overall rating for the service has changed from good to requires improvement based on the findings of this inspection.

Follow up

We will request an action plan from the provider to understand what they will do to improve the standards of quality and safety. We will work alongside the provider and local authority to monitor progress. We will continue to monitor information we receive about the service, which will help inform when we next inspect.