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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Carlisle care home criticised for not having enough staff

Serious concerns have been raised about the care being given to elderly residents in Carlisle.

Pennine Lodge photo
Pennine Lodge

While staff at Pennine Lodge care home, in Pennine Way, Harraby, have been praised for their warm, friendly and caring attitudes, inspectors at a recent visit found that there were simply not enough of them.

Its owners insist action is now being taken.

The home, run by Four Seasons Health Care, was visited by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as part of a routine inspection, however, inspectors had been alerted to potential staff shortages in advance.

A report from the most recent visit states: “People told us ‘The staff are very kind but sometimes I have to wait to go to the bathroom’.”

It adds: “One relative told us that staff were often busy during the evening. They had visited their relative and found five people who used the service in a state of agitation in one of the sitting rooms.

“The relatives told us that a table had been overturned and there were no staff available to assist as they were all busy with other people.”

On another occasion inspectors reported how they had come across a person “who was distressed after walking in to the wrong bedroom”.

The CQC visitors said they spent six minutes reassuring the person and the occupant of the bedroom before they were able to find a member of staff to help.

The recent inspection also highlighted cleanliness issues, which it ruled were impacting on the care and treatment being given.

“We noted there were strong and unpleasant odours throughout the dementia unit,” the report states. “Relatives told us that there was an issue with the supply of incontinence products.

“They had witnessed staff having to search for appropriate continence pads as they were in short supply. One person purchased additional continence products for their relatives.”

On the day of the inspection however, there was an “ample supply” of continence pads and the manager said she thought the smell came from some flooring and skirting in the dementia unit.

She said that people had been incontinent in these areas, and so the boards were being replaced.

While inspectors failed the home on two basic standards, it did find that it was meeting three others: safeguarding people who use services from abuse; supporting workers; and assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision.

In a statement, Four Seasons said Pennine Lodge was found to be fully compliant in three out of five inspection standard areas.

It added, however: “During the inspection, the CQC suggested a couple of recommendations, which we have taken on board.

“As a result, staff are undergoing additional training on how to provide more person-centred care plans and we are conducting an observation exercise of staff deployment over the next eight weeks.”

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