About the service
The Heathers is a nursing home providing accommodation, personal care and nursing for up to 30 people. At the time of the inspection there were 24 people living at the home. This is a Georgian home that has been converted and extended over three floors. There were two communal lounge/dining areas. People also have access to a courtyard garden area.
People’s experience of using this service and what we found
We were assured that health and safety policies and procedures including fire safety measures helped to protect people. Where improvements were required appropriate action had been taken to prevent recurrence and promote best practice. The training update programme was underway as Covid- 19 restrictions had started to decrease.
People were protected by the homes infection control policy and procedures. Various visitor arrangements for family were constantly reviewed and supported based on government guidelines. Following updated, recent guidance people were supported to leave the home whilst maintaining their safety and risk assessments were in place.
Prior to any visits people were informed of the procedures they should expect on arrival. People were asked not to visit the service if they displayed any symptoms related to Covid-19. Prior to entering they received a lateral flow test (LFT). Everyone provided contact details to support the track and trace system. Visitors were shown to the area of the home they were visiting, by the shortest and most direct route.
The emotional wellbeing of people and their families had been supported throughout the pandemic. Contact was maintained through various initiatives. They were sensitive to people's feelings including anxiety, sadness and loss. Positive activity provision continued, including celebrating special events.
The provider and management were proud of their staff and recognised the difficulties for them during the pandemic. The increased pressures of Covid- 19 meant that staff at times were challenged and tired. All staff continued to work well as a team and support each other.
People continued to receive prompt medical attention when they became unwell and relationships with health professionals remained good. The vaccination programme for people and staff had been well received.
Social distancing was encouraged throughout the home. Where this was not achievable, for example those people with dementia, staff were aware of the need for enhanced cleaning of frequently touched surfaces and people were supported to wash their hands regularly. The housekeeping team contributed to keeping people safe during the pandemic.
There were clear policies, procedures and contingency plans in place. Audits were undertaken, and actions were taken to ensure improvements were made. Staff had received Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) training and regular updates were provided. Spot checks took place to check staff understanding and compliance with the use of Personal Protective Equipment and IPC practices.
Rating at last inspection
The last rating for this service was outstanding (published in December 2018).
Why we inspected
This inspection was prompted in part due to concerns received about some areas around health and safety including fire safety measures. A decision was made for us to inspect and examine those areas of risk. We found no evidence during this inspection that people were at risk of harm from the concerns raised. Please see the Safe section of this report.
We also 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.
You can read the report from our last comprehensive inspection, by selecting the ‘all reports’ link for The Heathers Care Home on our website at www.cqc.org.uk.
We will continue to monitor information we receive about the service until we return to visit as per our re-inspection programme. If we receive any concerning information we may inspect sooner.