Understaffed care home is ‘inadequate’ as its residents left waiting too long

News Desk (17 November, 2016) Health

A Camberwell care home has been rated “inadequate” by government inspectors, after finding unsafe conditions and understaffing

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The Burgess Park Care Home, run by Four Seasons Health Care, was visited unannounced by Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors on September 13.

The review of the 41-resident home in Picton Street, specialising in dementia care, followed an assessment last year that found it “requiring improvements”.

With regards to safety, the report said residents’ call bells were not answered promptly.

“A person rang their call bell and waited for 30 minutes before staff attended to them,” inspectors said.

“We observed that on two occasions of ten minutes and fifteen minutes, people’s call bells were not answered. One resident told inspectors “I rang my bell for hours, and no one came.”

Inspectors added that Burgess Park Care Homes was: “Understaffed to the point that toiletry needs could not be responded to in a timely manner. We found that some people did not have their personal hygiene met promptly.

“We spoke to one person who told us ‘I like to be washed and dressed by 9am but it doesn’t happen. They wash me about 12pm or 1pm’.”

The CQC said it interviewed residents, their relatives, Four Seasons’ regional manager, the care home manager, nurses, care workers, visiting health care professional and a maintenance worker.

Some confided that staffing levels felt “unsafe”, with some saying they felt too short of time to take tea or lunch breaks.

Although the report said staff received adequate training, some told inspectors they “did not feel listened to” because managers “did not support them when they raised concerns with them”.

A spokesperson for Four Seasons, Robert Mitchell, told the News it had “more to do” to bring Burgess Park up to standard.

“We are continuing a comprehensive programme of improvements, with the care team in the home being supported by our Regional Manager and resident experience team. We are working in close collaboration with the council and the Clinical Commissioning Group.

“We are in the process of strengthening the management team in the home. We are ensuring staffing levels are in line with the dependency needs of the residents. We are recruiting for permanent staff to reduce reliance on agency staff, although there are challenges because of a national shortage of nurses.

“The home was rated as good for providing effective care. The inspectors saw that staff were supported through regular training, supervision, and appraisals to support them in their caring roles.  The inspectors also said that staff acted on people’s changing needs and their care plans were updated to reflect them. Residents and their relatives were involved in assessment and review of their care.”

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