Great Britain

Great Harwood care home downgraded over medicine and equipment safety concerns

A care home has been downgraded after inspectors from the Care Quality Commission found shortfalls in medicine management, infection control and recruitment management.

At its last inspection in November 2019, Mill Lodge Residential Care Home on Belmont Road in Great Harwood was rated 'good' by the CQC.

However, following an inspection in April this year, the rating dropped to 'requires improvement' after identified breaches in relation to Regulation 17 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (record keeping and quality monitoring systems), and Regulation 15 (premises and equipment), were discovered.

CQC officers had received concerns in relation to staffing, conduct of staff and care practices and as a result, undertook a focused inspection to review the key questions of 'safe' and 'well-led'.

In a report dated May 21, inspectors noted that they found systems to monitor the quality of the service were not effective.

The report said: "We found shortfalls around medicines management, care planning, infection control, the environment, recruitment and record keeping that had not been identified.

"We were also concerned that staff had not reported obvious shortfalls such as gaps in the medicine records, environmental shortfalls and the absence of window restrictors and the registered manager had not addressed actions from the last inspection.

"The registered manager was aware of the shortfalls in service delivery and was able to discuss improvements going forward.

"Records relating to people's care and to the management of the home were not always accessible, accurate or organised and we found records relating to the servicing and maintenance of equipment and systems were not well organised and some servicing was overdue."

The CQC's report also stated that the care home needed redecoration and refurbishment; something which has also been noted at the last inspection.

Although improvement work had commenced and the registered manager was able to describe the work needed, there was still no formal plan to support this, with some of the residents describing the environment as 'shabby' and 'outdated'.

The report continued: "Prior to the inspection, concerns were raised about the numbers of staff available at the weekend which could impact on people's supervision and choices.

"The registered manager assured us this would be reviewed, using an appropriate assessment tool, and acted on."

Despite medicines being managed and stored safely, inspectors did note that improvements were needed in relation to recording the application of creams.

The report added: "We were assured the registered manager and staff were making sure infection outbreaks could be effectively prevented or managed.

"However, we were concerned that advice issued at the last inspection regarding safe disposal of PPE and health risk assessments had not been followed.

"Following the inspection, the registered manager advised this had been addressed."

However, it was noted that safeguarding concerns were managed well and relatives were happy with the staff at the care home saying 'they are very good; very patient'.

The CQC's report went on to state: "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 and will return to visit as per our re-inspection programme.

"If we receive any concerning information we may inspect sooner."

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