New management has been drafted in to turn around a Budleigh Salterton care home placed in ‘special measures’ by the Government health watchdog.
Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission ruled care at The Firs Residential Home, in West Hill, was ‘Inadequate’ after the home was visited without warning in August.
The October-released report said a lack of safety put residents at risk of harm and the care was inadequate at meeting residents’ needs.
Liana Birkett, director at Buckland Care, which owns The Firs, said the home had been working closely with the CQC to improve its standards.
She said: “The Firs has already addressed all issues raised in the report and the team continues to work very closely with Safeguarding and the CQC to ensure the residents are safe.
“We now have experienced new management in place and we are confident that our next inspection will be a vast improvement on the last.”
She added: “We want to thank staff for their hard work and residents and relatives for their patience whilst we go through this transition period.”
Inspectors from the CQC arrived at The Firs unannounced in August, at a time when the council adult safeguarding team were investigating allegations of poor care at the home.
The inspection found standards at the home had ‘deteriorated’ since its last check in June 2017, when the home was rated ‘Good’.
The fresh report highlighted low staffing levels, and while residents felt safe living at the home, not all practises were safe enough, placing people at the risk of ‘potential and continued harm’.
After the CQC examined the home’s safety, effectiveness of the service, and standards of care, it ruled all required improvement.
Checks found The Firs was not well-led and the service provided fell short of expectations, and inspectors ruled it ‘Inadequate’.
The report said: “At the time of our inspection the local authority adult safeguarding team were investigating allegations of poor care, and the service was being supported by the local authority quality and improvement team.
“Because of the concerns identified the provider decided to voluntarily suspend all new placements to the service until improvements were made.”
The report added: “The providers overall governance framework to help identify where improvements were required had been ineffective.
“The systemic failings found at this inspection demonstrated the provider had failed to ensure people received a well-managed service which was safe and compassionate; placing people at risk of potential and continued harm.”
The CQC report said: “People told us they felt safe living at the service. However, not all practices were safe enough.
“People were supported by staff who had been recruited safely. However, people expressed there was not always enough staff to meet their needs.
“The manager was actively recruiting for new staff, but in the meantime was using temporary agency staff to cover staffing vacancies.
“We found the reduction of permanent staff was impacting on the service, as the high use of agency staff meant new systems and processes were not always communicated or embedded.”
Questions asked by the CQC when reaching its conclusions:
- Is the service Safe? – this means we looked for evidence that people were protected from abuse and avoidable harm.
At the last inspection this key question was rated as Good. At this inspection this key question has now deteriorated to Requires improvement. This meant some aspects of the service were not always safe and there was limited assurance about safety. There was an increased risk that people could be harmed.
- Is the service Effective – this means we looked for evidence that people’s care, treatment and support achieved good outcomes and promoted a good quality of life, based on best available evidence.
At the last inspection this key question was rated as Good. At this inspection this key question has now deteriorated to Requires improvement. This meant the effectiveness of people’s care, treatment and support did not always achieve good outcomes or was inconsistent.
- Is the service Caring? – this means we looked for evidence that the service involved people and treated them with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect.
At the last inspection this key question was rated as Good. At this inspection this key question has now deteriorated to Requires improvement. This meant people did not always feel well-supported, cared for or treated with dignity and respect.
- Is the service Responsive? – this means we looked for evidence that the service met people’s needs.
At the last inspection this key question was rated as Good. At this inspection this key question has now deteriorated to Inadequate. This meant services were not planned or delivered in ways that met people’s needs.
The Firs Residential Home supports people living with dementia, mental illness, and physical disability.
Nursing services are provided by the community nursing team.
At the time of the inspection there were 28 people living at The Firs.
Read the full report here