Care services told to do better
TWO Valley care services have vowed to do better after inspectors said they must improve.
Home care service Mears Care, based in Haslingden, and Sunnyside Rest Home in Whitworth, have both been rated ‘requires improvement’ overall after being inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
When assessing the service, inspectors found that Mears Care Rossendale, off Todd Hall Road on Carrs Industrial Estate, was lacking in both leadership and safety, but rated it ‘good’ in effectiveness, caring, and responsiveness.
The service provides home care services to around 100 people in East Lancashire. The CQC found the provider to be in breach of one regulation of the Health and Social Care Act, relating to a lack of robust recruitment procedures prior to staff working at the service after finding examples where full employment histories of staff had not been obtained.
The report stated: “This meant the appropriate background checks, includ- ing employees’ integrity, had not been completed for the well-being and safety of people who used the service.
“We also noted that there was a lack of evidence to demonstrate a staff member had been effectively monitored and supervised during their probationary period. This did not comply with the regulations or the providers’ recruitment and selection procedures and meant that people were not protected from risks associated with unsafe recruitment.”
The CQC added that during the inspection people made ‘positive comments’ about the staff team, including their “friendly approach, listening skills and respectful manners”.
The report stated: “People told us they experienced good care and support. They were encouraged and supported to make their own choices and decisions.
“People were supported and cared for in a way which promoted their involvement and independence.”
A spokesperson for Mears said: “We are disappointed in the rating, but would like to reassure our service users and their families that we have been working hard to make improvements since we took over the contract from the previous provider.
“These changes take time to embed of course, but we are very confident that service users and our care workers will see ongoing improvements in the service, which the CQC recognised as caring and effective.”
Sunnyside Rest Home, on Coupland Close in Whitworth, has also been rated ‘requires improvement’ in all but one area in a separate inspection by the CQC. But the service was rated as ‘good’ in its caring criteria.
During the inspection, the CQC found there were four breaches of the regulations, in respect of the management of risks, the recruitment of new staff, care planning, the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the management of complaints.
The inspectors also noted that care staff were expected to complete other household duties when the cook and cleaning staff were not on duty.
The report stated: “People’s care plans had not always been updated on a regular basis, which meant people were at risk of receiving inconsistent care.
“There was a complaints process in place and people felt confident to raise concerns. However, people had raised concerns at resi- dents’ meetings which had not been escalated through the complaints procedure to be formally managed under this process.
“There were systems in place to monitor the quality of the service which included feedback from people living in the home.
“Whilst we found a number of the breaches in the regulations, the nominated individual had identified the shortfalls and had devised an action plan.”
However, the inspectors added that staff treated people in a ‘respectful and dignified manner’ and people’s privacy was respected.
They said: “We observed people were happy, comfortable and relaxed with staff.”
Karen Henderson, head of care and support at Sunnyside Rest Home, said: “Patient care is of paramount importance to us and we are pleased that the report recognises that all our residents are safe and happy.
“We acknowledge the issues raised by the CQC, and are reassured that these are areas we already aware of and have an action plan in place to swiftly address – such as the recruitment of a new manager. We will also be working with the Care Excellence Partnership to put new systems in place for residents and staff.”
‘We have been working hard to make improvements since we took over’