Leyland care staff were 'not always checked' before working with vulnerable residents finds health watchdog

A care home in Croston has been told its residents were at risk of harm due to the mismanagement of medicines and staff not always undergoing checks before working at the home.

By James Holt
Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 11:30 am

The Croston Park nursing home lost its 'good' safety rating in its most recent inspection by a health watchdog and has been told it requires improvement in the effectiveness of its service.

The residential home, on Town Road, was issued with a warning notice following a review by Care Quality Commission inspectors.

The health body was contacted about concerns relating to the management of medicines and care of its residents.

The home was told it required improvement at its latest inspection

The home has since spoken out about the inspection, saying it is 'disappointed' in getting its first ever adverse report in 13 years, adding that 'mistakes were made' during the difficult circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Inspectors found that there were 'multiple failings' in medicines management processes and that residents were not always given their medications as they should, but that the home had been seeking guidance from health professionals.

This included residents being given their medications after they should have been stopped.

The overall rating of the service was downgraded from 'good' to 'requires improvement' after the unannounced investigation, which was carried out by three inspectors and a medical specialist inspector.

Inspectors found residents could have been placed at risk due to medicine mismanagement

An inspector said: "We found gaps in administration records and some of the medicines we counted did not match the records. We could not be assured medicines had been administered as directed.

"Guidance was sought from healthcare professionals, but we found examples when this advice had not always been followed. Medicines continued to be administered after they had been advised to be stopped.

"We found multiple failings within medicines processes. Medicines were not always managed safely, and people did not always receive them as they should. This placed people at risk of harm."

It was also found that medications had not always been stored safely, including keeping them in an unlocked fridge and a bathroom.

The Grade II listed home has the capacity to care for 56 residents but was looking after 51 at the time of inspection in May.

12 members of staff were spoken to, along with two residents and three families with loved ones residing at the home.

Inspectors also found some recruitment processes had failed to check if staff were able to work with vulnerable residents.

They added: "Four personnel records of staff members lacked checks of suitability required to safely recruit fit and proper people.

"This placed people at risk of being supported by staff who had not been deemed fit to work with vulnerable adults."

However, when asked by inspectors, all staff members said they had received induction training and ongoing training that was relevant to their role.

They also added staff "felt very supported by the management team" and received regular supervision and appraisal of their work.

There was no evidence any residents had been harmed and the CQC found that the registered manager had always ensured there were enough staff on shift.

Despite its lower rating, the provider began taking action immediately after the inspection, including completing detailed audits on medicines management and creating an action plan in response to findings, the CQC added.

The home was rated 'inadequate' in the safety of its service, told it 'requires improvement' in how effective and well-led the service is, but was rated as 'good' in the 'caring' and 'responsive' categories.

It had previously been given an overall rating of 'good' in May of 2019.

A spokesperson for Croston Park Care Home, said: “Needless to say, we are hugely disappointed at getting the first ever adverse report for Croston Park in 13 years under our ownership.

“We have been working very hard at the home with the CQC to resolve the various issues. Mistakes have been made under the very difficult circumstances that all care homes have faced during the pandemic.

"But as a family company we take this report very seriously and are working very hard to get back to the ‘Good’ home status that we have coveted for so many years.

"We promise everyone connected with the home that this is at the front and centre of everything we are doing as a care home provider at the moment.”