21st Aug, 2018

Nursing home in 'special measures' after probe finds risk of 'significant harm' to people in its care

Felix Nobes 10th Aug, 2018 Updated: 10th Aug, 2018

A SOLIHULL nursing home has been placed in ‘special measures’ following an inspection which found a risk of ‘significant harm’ to the people in its care.

Improvement plans are being overseen by national watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which conducted the investigation at Chelmunds Court on Pomeroy Way, Chelmsley Wood, in June.

The probe found safety risks for the people in its care as well as evidence of poor treatment and neglect.

Its services have been rated as ‘inadequate’.

A CQC spokesperson also said it will be undertaking ‘enforcement action’ to bring about improvements and another report will be published in the coming weeks.

The home is a purpose-built 73-bed residential complex for the elderly – mainly those with dementia.

It was built last November and is operated by Runwood Homes Group.

The company has issued a formal apology and insists steps have been taken to improve care through an ‘action plan’.

The CQC said the inspection was brought forward earlier than planned due to concerns the watchdog received from relatives, staff and ‘external agencies’.

Following the inspection, the home has been rated as ‘inadequate’ for the safety, effectiveness and leadership of its service.

The care it provides and its ability to be ‘responsive’ have also received the same rating.

Last month, the Observer heard concerns from upset relatives about care for their loved ones, staffing levels and training.

We were also told management changes had already taken place – and the report stated the home had recruited its third manager since it opened.

The CQC says services in special measures are kept under review for six months.

If ‘significant improvements’ to the service are not achieved in this time-frame, it can result in the cancellation of the provider’s registration.

Solihull council commissions some beds for vulnerable elderly people placed at the home.

The CQC undertook an unannounced inspection on June 26 – the first since the home opened.

The inspection report:

The inspection report states: “The management of people’s medicine was unsafe and put people at risk of significant harm.

“People had missed their medicines due to ineffective stock control. People had been placed at risk of harm and in some cases had sustained harm because of this.

“There were not enough staff with the knowledge of people’s care needs to keep people safe.

“Staff felt people were neglected as there was insufficient staff to meet people’s needs.

“People raised concerns about the safety of people who lived with a dementia related illness and relatives felt their family members were not always safe.

“Where potential risks to people had been identified, the plans to reduce the risk were not consistently followed.

“People shared experiences where their dignity had been compromised and they had not been treated respectfully.

“Staff did not have time to adequately support people.

“The provider had ineffective systems and processes in place to review the quality of the care delivered.

“This had resulted in people receiving poor care.

“People, relatives and staff told us they had not been involved in the way the service was run. Staff morale was low and they had felt let down and unsupported by the leadership of the service.”

The report did add staff understood what abuse was and how to report it, understood the importance of reducing risks of infection and people were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives.

Runwood Homes reaction:

Gavin O’Hare-Connolly, chief operating officer for Runwood Homes, said: “We apologise unreservedly for a range of issues which have affected our residents and service delivery at Chelmunds Court since it opened last November.

“They should not have happened, and we have taken steps to ensure they never happen again.

“When it became clear that what initially appeared to be teething problems were developing into serious concerns, we immediately put a new management structure in place and initiated an action plan which has achieved significant progress.

“Actions which we have implemented include putting a new medicine contract in place with Boots, appointed a consultant pharmacist in the home to monitor medicine management, recruitment fully completed for additional care assistants and recruitment for additional nurses on-going.

“We emphasise our staff to resident ratio is meeting regulations, all our personnel are fully trained and appropriately supervised, and the home is inspected regularly by our colleagues from Solihull council and the CQC.

“Residents and their families can now rest assured hard lessons have been learned and they are receiving, and will continue to enjoy, the very best of care in a safe and effective person-centred environment.

“Our staff are dedicated care-givers who work hard and take great pride in what they do.

“We will continue working in partnership with residents, families and fellow professionals to ensure those high standards are maintained.

“We encourage anyone with lingering concerns to raise them directly with the home manager or senior team.”

For more information go to the CQC’s report here: www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/new_reports/INS2-5349288427.pdf

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