New Longton care home placed in Special Measures after damning inspection report

A care home where "a high number of staff did not have any experience of health and social care" is at risk of being closed down if urgent improvements are not made.

By Catherine Musgrove
Thursday, 19th December 2019, 5:00 pm
The Brambles Rest Home in New Longton
The Brambles Rest Home in New Longton

The Brambles Rest Home in Park Avenue, New Longton, has deteriorated from 'requires improvement' to 'inadequate' according to inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Inspectors found it to be not safe, not effective, not always caring, not responsive and not well-led. Key concerns in a report issued this week include:

- Medicine management practices were not consistently safe, with the provider failing to ensure staff responsible for administering them were trained and competent to do so. In one instance, one person was given double the prescribed dose of a controlled medicine.

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- "Staff did not follow safe practices when handling clinical waste" and did not have access to suitable hand washing facilities.

- Staff were not consistently updated, for example, two members of staff told inspectors they had not been informed when a person had died.

- Checks were not always carried out on staff's criminal record, character or right to work.

- People were not provided with enough choice and control over their nutrition and hydration, with no menu to choose from, meals "not always nutritious or fortified" for people at risk of malnutrition, people did not have access to self-serve fruit or fluids, and staff had not received training in nutrition or swallowing.

- "Some staff told us people were assisted to bed early 'to make it easier for night staff'."

- Staff told inspectors that people had gone for long periods without a bath or shower.

- Care plans were out of date.

Positively, inspectors were told by residents and their families that they felt supported by "kind and respectful staff" and were happy with the number of staff.

Inspectors also found that staff respected people's diginity by knocking on doors, and respected privacy with family.

The CQC has placed the home into special measures, meaning that another inspection will take place within six months. If the CQC is not satisfied that enough improvements are being made, it can start the process of closing the care home.

A spokesman for Century Care Ltd, which runs the home, said: "The Brambles Rest Home in New Longton is a home which has always been well run and maintained. With overwhelming regulation’s the home has recently found itself in special measures and not meeting the required standards set by our regulatory body.

"As an organisation, we take our responsibilities very seriously and have acted rapidly by engaging an interim management company Care Solve to aid us. They are well respected within the industry and have a proven record in getting care services back on track. We have further employed a new manager who is currently undergoing her CQC registration as a registered manager for the home.

"We are working very closely with our regulatory body CQC, Lancashire County Council and other agencies to get The Brambles back in line and rated as Good, hopefully becoming outstanding in time. We love and care for our service users dearly and thank everyone for all their help support and understanding."