'We don't know what we are doing' say staff at Chorley care home during health watchdog inspection

A Chorley care home has been told it 'requires improvement' in certain areas of its care following an unannounced inspection last month, where a staff member admitted "we don't know what we are doing."

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 1:13 pm

Grove House Home for Older People, in Adlington, had a surprise inspection last month by the Care Quality Commission, after the watchdog had received concerns regarding its management of medicines and finances.

And during the visit, one member of staff admitted that staff "don't know what they are doing" when it came to carrying out certain care for its elderly and vulnerable residents.

The report by the CQC, which was released just last week, revealed that the systems in the home had failed to identify that care and treatment were not always provided in a safe way, with checks often failing to identify risks to people's health and safety.

Grove House Home for Older People was told it needed to improve the safety of its care
Grove House Home for Older People was told it needed to improve the safety of its care

Having looked through the support documentation for two residents at the home, which cared for 31 people at the time of inspection last month, the inspector then found that their risk assessments had not been updated to give staff guidance on how to best provide their care.

And it was revealed that a review of a resident's support plan had also not been carried out by staff at the home, despite them falling over twice and sustaining 'significant injuries'.

Grove House Home for Older People, on Highfield Road, is managed by Lancashire County Council and registered to provide care and accommodation for up to 47 elderly people.

And following its inspection, on May 11, it was concluded that the home required improvements on the safety and management of its services but was rated as 'Good' in other elements of care.

Not all residents were kept safe from harm and abuse, the report found.

Once concerns had been raised about the management of finances and drugs at the home, the CQC found that medicines were not managed properly in all instances.

It said: "Medicines were not always managed appropriately, there were no protocols seen to guide staff in the administration of 'as necessary' medicines.

"At the time of the inspection, staff told us they were applying an external cream which had been brought into the home by the district nursing team."

During the visit, inspectors cited that people were at "high risk from inconsistent and unsafe care", adding: "Some staff told us they felt unsupported and not listened to by the management team."

And in one worrying confession, a member of staff admitted "we don't know what we are doing."

This was in relation to a resident who had sustained 'significant injuries' after falling over twice in the home and required a change in their care including wearing a catheter.

But it was found by the CQC that their care plan lacked clear guidance for the staff on how to monitor and manage it.

The report went on to find errors in the systems set to keep residents safe from harm and abuse, adding "People were not fully protected from harm and abuse.

"Whilst staff and the management team had access to appropriate training and policies and procedures in respect of safeguarding vulnerable adults, we noted one incident had not been reported to the local authority safeguarding team in a timely manner."

The inspector did find that upon speaking to residents, they were happy at the home and good Covid-19 measures in place including satisfactory cleanliness and procedures for visits.

The home had previously been given an overall rating of 'Good' in its previous report from 2019 and was found last month to be giving a good standard of effective and responsive care.

Grove House is managed by Lancashire County Council, who addressed the concerns and said action plans were 'quickly drawn up' following the report.

Ian Crabtree, Lancashire County Council's director of adult disability and care services, said: "We're working hard to address the issues identified by the CQC in its latest inspection of Grove House.

"Action plans were quickly drawn up following the inspection. Our staff have already addressed the high priority issues that were raised during the visit and shortly after.

"Support plans have been reviewed to ensure we offer safe care. We're improving living areas to make them more homely and the staff safeguarding and CQC reporting training has been delivered.

"We are pleased the inspectors found that residents are happy to live at grove house, and were positive about the good Covid-19 safety measures in place, the staffing levels and the policies and procedures at the home.

"However, CQC inspections are important and our priority is to work through our action plans and address all the issues highlighted as quickly as possible."

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