Report by Samantha Pope
Friday, April 27, 2012
IMPROVEMENTS have been demanded at a Nailsea care home after it was found to have insufficient numbers of staff and had breached regulations.
The owners of Laurel Court off Brockway have been given a formal warning by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and been told they could face further action if changes are not made.
The warning follows an unannounced visit by CQC inspectors in March, which was carried out to follow-up requirements set out during a visit in December.
In October, when the home was owned by Southern Cross Healthcare (Kent), it was issued a warning and told to make improvements to its standard of care.
During their latest visit, inspectors discovered the home, which provides care to 62 people and is now owned by Handsale Limited, was failing to comply with government regulations covering staffing arrangements.
It was found there was a high turnover of staff and that replacement staff had not been recruited, affecting morale.
There was also a lack of consistency of care, which meant people were being looked after by staff who did know their needs.
CQC regional director for the south, Ian Biggs said: “This warning sends a clear and public message that Handsale Limited needs to address this issue as a matter of urgency or face serious consequences.
“Our inspectors will return to Laurel Court in the near future and if we find it is not making the required progress we will consider using our legal powers to protect the people who use the service.”
As well as being given a warning notice under one regulation of the Heath and Social Care Act, the home was also found to have breached four regulations relating to workers, the quality of service provision, complaints procedures and the notification of incidents to the CQC.
Other findings included that the home’s residents were not consistently treated with respect and that staff did not always communicate with them in an acceptable way.
Staff also said they did not feel very well supported.
In a statement, Handsale said since the inspection new staff have been recruited to deal with the high turnover of employees, staff morale has improved as a result of changes made and continuity has been achieved by using the same agency staff when required. It also said new measures had been adopted to ensure the level of care was not affected by agency staff not knowing people’s needs.
The statement added: “May we point out the inspection took place in mid- March and significant improvements have been made in such a short space of time by the staff and management team working together.”