The inspection took place on 5 and 6 January 2016 and was unannounced. Thorn Park Care Home provides care and accommodation for up to 36 older people, some of whom are living with dementia. On the day of the inspection 35 people lived at the home. The providers own other services in the Plymouth area.
The service had a registered manager in post. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the Care Quality Commission (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.
One person said; “It’s been lovely to be able to give a testament back to say what a lovely wonderful place this is. I am so please I came here.”
People were busy and were enjoying the company of the staff. There was a calm and relaxed atmosphere within the service. Comments included; “Staff are kind and caring.” A survey returned to the home said; “With the constant care and love given she is still with us.” People said they were happy living at the service.
People, relatives and visiting professionals were happy with the care the staff provided. They agreed staff had the skills and knowledgeable to meet people’s needs. People were encouraged and supported to make decisions and choices whenever possible in their day to day lives.
People had their privacy and dignity maintained. Staff were observed supporting people with patience and kindness.
People were better protected from harm as staff had completed safeguarding of vulnerable adults training and had the knowledge on how to report any concerns and what action they would take to protect people. Staff were confident any incidents or allegations would be fully investigated. The registered manager had sought and acted on advice where they thought people’s freedom was being restricted. Applications were made and advice sought to help safeguard people and respect their human rights
People were protected by safe recruitment procedures. Staff were supported with an induction and ongoing training programme to develop their skills and staff competency was assessed. Everyone we spoke with felt there were sufficient staff on duty.
People received visits from healthcare professionals, for example GPs and district nurses, to ensure they received appropriate care and treatment to meet their health care needs. Professionals confirmed staff followed the guidance they provided. This ensured people received the care they needed to remain safe and well, for example people had regular visits by district nurses to change dressings. A relative survey recorded; “His health and mentality has improved since he entered Thorn Park.”
People’s medicines were managed safely. Medicines were managed, stored, and disposed of safely. Senior staff administered medicines and had received training and confirmed they understood the importance of safe administration and management of medicines.
People who did not have capacity to make decisions for themselves were supported by staff to make sure their legal rights were protected and staff worked with other professionals in their best interest.
People were supported to maintain a healthy balanced diet. People told us they enjoyed their meals, there was plenty of it and we observed people were not rushed.
People’s care records were computerised and of a good standard. People’s care records were comprehensive and detailed people’s preferences.
People’s risks were considered, well-managed and regularly reviewed to keep people safe. Where possible, people had choice and control over their lives and were supported to engage in activities within the home. Records were updated to reflect people’s changing needs. People and their families were involved in the planning of their care.
People and staff described the registered manager as approachable, available and supportive. Staff talked positively about their jobs and took pride in their work. Visiting professionals and staff confirmed the registered manager made themselves available and were very good.
The registered manager had an ethos of honesty and transparency. This reflected the requirements of the duty of candour. The duty of candour is a legal obligation to act in an open and transparent way in relation to care and treatment.
People’s opinions were sought formally and informally. There were quality assurance systems in place. Feedback was sought from people and their relatives to assess the quality of the service provided. Audits were conducted to ensure the quality of care and environmental issues were identified promptly. Accidents and safeguarding concerns were investigated and, where there were areas for improvement, these were shared for learning.