Penrith care home branded as“inadequate”

Date: Friday 18th August 2017

A RESIDENTIAL home in Penrith has had a restriction put on new admissions after another damning report from inspectors.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has deemed the Bupa-run Cold Springs Care Home “inadequate” in its latest inspection report — a backwards step from its “requires improvement” judgement in January.

CQC has issued a notice restricting new admissions to the home of people whose needs are such that the staff are not equipped to safely care for them.

During the inspeciton, residents told inspectors there were not enough staff to respond to basic needs such as going to the toilet, and one described the food as “the worst I have ever had”. The health watchdog was told that staff sometimes went home in tears due to the stress they were placed under.

In the latest report, inspectors said staff routines and tasks took priority, people were placed at risk of poor nutrition and hydration, they did not receive safe care and treatment and were not always protected against the risks of harm or abuse.

They added that there was insufficient mobility equipment, complaints had not been responded to appropriately and the registered manager had not always told the CQC about accidents and incidents at the home as required.

Despite this, the people the inspectors spoke to during their inspection were complimentary about the staff, who they said “worked hard”. However, the staff themselves also had concerns about staffing levels and did not feel “listened to” by managers. Health and social care professionals had also raised concerns with the CQC about staffing levels and lack of visible staff during some of their visits.

The inspection report said: “One of the day staff told us: ‘The people we are looking after now are more dependent. It’s 10am and there are still three people waiting to get up. They need two carers so we have to wait until someone else is free. It is very stressful and sometimes carers go home in tears.’ During our inspection we observed that two members of staff became visibly distressed at their situation.”

It added that while the home provides specialist dementia care, there was “little evidence of ‘dementia friendly’ lighting, colour schemes, assistive technology or signage” and “few aids to assist people with orientation and enable them to maintain some level of independence”.

Actions the manager had promised to take in response to complaints had also not been carried out and there were no “investigation reports”.

Services in special measures must make significant improvements within six to 12 months or their registration could be cancelled.

Bupa’s regional director for Cumbria and Lancashire has also been asked to provide a written plan and assurances that the home will be adequately staffed at all times in order to meet the needs and dependency levels of the 52 people using the service (at the time of the June visit).

Another of Bupa’s care homes in Penrith, Beacon Edge, also remains in special measures following a CQC inspection report published last month.

Angela Zuraw, regional director for Bupa Care Services in Scotland and North England, said: “We’ve already introduced a dedicated team at the home to address the issues raised in the inspection. We aim to provide high quality care for all our residents, and we have a detailed improvement plan in place.

“As part of this, we’ve increased staffing throughout the night and we continue to recruit further colleagues at the home. We’re also recruiting a new manager to fully support our staff and residents.

“While we know there’s work to be done, I was pleased that the CQC commended the friendly and respectful approach taken by our staff.

“With these new actions in place, and additional support for our colleagues, I hope we’ll quickly return to the high levels of care our residents expect.”