Care regulator demands action after report finds failings at nursing home

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has told the Sandhall Park Nursing and Residential Home that it is failing to meet essential standards in quality and safety and must take action to address concerns over care and welfare.

The CQC report identifies breaches in regulations covering care and welfare, staffing, the support of workers and management of medicines.

Sandhall Park Nursing and Residential Home is owned by Mimosa Healthcare (No 4) Limited and is near Goole. It provides nursing and residential care to older people, including those suffering from dementia and physical disabilities.

CQC inspectors visited the home in response to concerns which it had received. The inspection team reviewed all the information held about this provider and carried out a visit in December 2010. The inspection team observed how people were being cared for, talked to people who use the service, talked to staff and checked the provider’s records. A further unannounced inspection took place on 26 January 2011. Although this second visit showed some improvement, there were still essential standards that were not being met.

Failing to meet four essential standards

CQC found that Sandhall Park Nursing and Residential Home was not meeting four essential standards and has major concerns in these areas:

– Care and welfare: Care plans and risk assessments were not up to date or reviewed regularly. Residents were not being referred to other health professionals, such as the dietician and “falls’ team, even where there was high risk, and people who use services did not always have a call bell within reach so that assistance could be summoned.

– Management of medicines: Medication errors frequently occurred and it was not clear what actions had been taken to encourage improvement. Medication chart audits had not been carried out to ensure that people received their medication correctly.

– Staffing: There were significant problems ensuring that sufficient numbers of staff were on duty with the appropriate skills, competencies and qualifications to meet the needs of the people they cared for

– Support of workers: Staff had not received sufficient mandatory training including moving and handling

Sandhall Park has submitted an action plan to CQC, outlining how it will address these remaining concerns in order to meet the standards. Inspectors will return to the care home unannounced to check whether the improvements have been made and to decide whether to initiate formal enforcement action.

By law, providers of health care services have a legal responsibility to make sure they are meeting the essential standards of quality and safety.

Jo Dent, Regional Director of CQC for Yorkshire and Humber said that her staff would closely monitor the care home to ensure that the necessary improvements are made.

She said: “We are pleased that the provider is addressing the areas of concern we highlighted. We will return in the near future to ensure that the improvements have been made. Sandhall Park must improve – or face the consequences.”

Under the Health and Social Care Act 2008, the Care Quality Commission has a number of new enforcement powers that enable it to act swiftly when services are failing people. These include issuing warning notices, restricting the services that a provider can offer or the way it is provided; or, in the most serious cases, suspending or cancelling a service. CQC can also issue financial penalty notices and cautions or prosecute the provider for failing to meet essential standards.