Tilbury care home “Failed to protect people’s safety” says regulator

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has told the owners of Grapecroft Care Home in Tilbury that they must make improvements to comply with the essential standards of quality and safety.

Inspectors have found that the home in Calcutta Road, Tilbury, has failed to protect the safety and welfare of its residents.

A report published by CQC says that the provider, Festival Care Homes Limited, was not meeting 10 of the 11 essential standards inspectors looked at and in five of these areas major concerns were identified.

Providers of care services have a legal responsibility to make sure they are meeting all essential standards of quality and safety.

The visit to Grapecroft Care Home, which provides care for older people, took place in November 2011 as part of CQC’s routine programme of inspections.

When inspectors visited the home they found the care provided is falling short of standards people should be able to expect and improvements are needed.

Areas of major concern included.

Care and welfare of people who use the services

Inspectors found care plans were not always up to date or reflective of people’s needs or they lacked sufficient detail to guide staff. This meant that people living in the home could not be assured that their care needs would be met or that the care provided would be of an acceptable standard.

Meeting nutritional needs

People who needed assistance in eating or drinking did not always have a care management plan in place to inform staff of how much help they needed. Some people had not been weighed for lengthy periods and records relating to people’s weight were sometimes inconsistent. This meant that people could not always be assured that their nutritional needs were being met.

Staffing

There were inadequate staffing levels to ensure the health and welfare of people in the service was being maintained. There were also insufficient numbers of senior staff to ensure that staff received the appropriate guidance and support.

Supporting staff

There were gaps in staff training and supervision which meant the care team may not have all the support knowledge and skills required to meet the needs of people living at the home.

Assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision

Inspectors found that quality assurance systems at the home were not robust enough and they did not include seeking the views of people living at the home or their advocates.

Frances Carey, Regional Director of CQC in the East of England, said: “The failings at Grapecroft Care Home are a real concern and improvements need to be made.

“The provider needs to ensure its care plans are up to date and contain the right information to guide staff so that people receive the support they need. It also needs to ensure it has robust systems in place to check its service provision and that the appropriate number of staff are available to care for people at the home.”

During their visit, inspectors also identified moderate concerns in relation to respecting and involving people who use services, safeguarding people who use services and cleanliness and infection control. They had minor concerns about the management of medicines and complaints and the home was compliant in one area, requirements relating to workers.

Frances Carey added: “CQC has been working closely with Thurrock Council to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the residents and we have told the provider where they need to improve.

“Where improvements are not made we have a range of enforcement powers that can be used, including prosecution, closure or restriction of services. “

Any regulatory decision that CQC takes is open to challenge by a registered person through a variety of internal and external appeal processes.

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