Dundee care home told to check staffing levels

A Dundee care home has been told it needs to make sure it has enough staff throughout the building to look after residents.

Balhousie Clement Park in Lochee was visited by a team from the Care Inspectorate.

At one point they heard a nurse call buzzer that sounded for eight to 10 minutes.

Their report said: ”During this time we saw that staff from other units entered and then left again without going to see what assistance was required.

”It was evident that there were staff around in other units who could have provided help but this did not happen.

”We were also aware that several residents had suffered falls in the lounge area of units. There had been an observation from some visitors we spoke to that there did not appear to be any staff around at the time of their relatives’ fall.”

The inspectors said they had a ”very lengthy discussion” with the home manager about how the physical layout of the building did not promote staff in each unit to work together as a team.

The inspectors have told the home’s operators, Perth-based Balhousie Care Group, to ensure that the deployment of staff throughout the building is sufficient to meet the care needs of residents.

This deployment must take into account the physical layout of the building.

Balhousie Clement Park was given ”adequate” grades for its environment and the quality of its care and support, although the inspectors did say the manager and staff showed ”a high level of motivation and commitment” to further improve the quality of service they provide.

”The service needs to make sure that the staff working in each unit further develop how they work together as one staff team. This would be of benefit to the residents living in the service,” the inspectors said.

They praised improvements in recording of the administration of medication since their previous inspection and noted that staff liked the new personal plans for residents.

However, checks on a sample of accident and incident reports found there to be gaps in the documentation.

A spokeswoman for Balhousie Care Group said: ”We are pleased that overall this is an encouraging report that also reflects the positive progress since the previous inspection.

”We take all comments made by the regulators seriously and develop robust action plans to address any areas highlighted for improvement.

”Balhousie Clement Park routinely runs with higher staffing levels than recommended by the Care Inspectorate, primarily due to the layout of the building, and all staff are responsible for responding to the call system. This will be clarified further with the team.

”An assessment will also be carried out to ensure we are operating at the appropriate level and are continuing to deliver high levels of care for all our residents.”