England’s health watchdog has revealed the ‘chaotic’ scenes behind the doors of a Chorley care home after 19 people were found to have not received their daily prescribed medicine.
Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission made the startling revelation after making three surprise visits to Aarondale Care Home in November and December 2018.
Inspectors revealed that the inspection was undertaken “due to concerns raised with us about the safety of people using the service”.
In the report published last week, inspectors revealed how the service at the Coppull home was unsafe because “medicines administration had been chaotic” and there had been “three significant errors” that put people at risk of harm.
It is revealed how during the first visit on November 19, 19 people living in the care home did not receive their evening time prescribed medicines; 10 of which were put down to a “breakdown in communications” between internal staff and a senior agency carer.
A second visit on November 27 concluded that “it was accepted that the home was heavily reliant on agency staff especially at night” in part due to a number of senior staff leaving the home in autumn 2018.
Relatives of residents also raised concerns surrounding the competency of staff, with one noted as saying “staff don’t seem to be engaged and often have to go away from a situation and summon help”.
Staff admitted that some staff hadn’t been trained in “essential areas of care”, such as medicine administration.
Issues saw the home given an overall rating of Requires Improvement and Inadequate, the lowest rating, for safety and Requires Improvement for being well-led.
It was rated Good for being caring, providing effective care and being responsive to residents’ needs. Residents in the care home told inspectors they felt safe and risks to people were also appropriately assessed and managed. The area manager and staff also received praise.
The home was recognised for its transparency in its handling of medicine issues, informing GPs and the CQC as well as apologising.
An Aarondale Care Home spokesman said: “During November and December last year we regret there were three occasions when there were errors in administration of medication, which meant that some residents missed an evening dose of their regular medicines. Although no resident experienced any lasting effect, this shouldn’t have happened.
“On realising the errors, we were transparent and contacted GPs and other relevant health care professionals; we notified the Care Quality Commission and apologised to the residents and their relatives.
“We maintained dialogue with the CQC about the measures we were putting in place to address the concern and when the CQC inspectors carried out their final unannounced inspection on 11 December they reported they were satisfied that our procedures were being properly followed and people were receiving their medications as prescribed, administered by qualified nurses.
“There were sufficient numbers of staff on night duty to care for and support people.”
They added: “The administrative errors occurred while the home was in a period of transition after some senior staff left and this necessitated the use of appropriately qualified agency personnel.
“We now have an experienced Care Services Support Manager in the home full time supported by a Regional Manager, to provide better management oversight of medication and all aspects of care and we have been recruiting permanent staff.”