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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Cumbrian care home improves staffing levels after criticism

Extra staff have been taken on at a west Cumbria care home criticised by national inspectors.

Stilecroft home photo
Stilecroft Residential Home in Workington

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) had previously visited Stilecroft Residential Home, in Stainburn Road, Stainburn, Workington, in June, when inspectors ruled it was failing to meet basic staffing levels.

The failings were revealed in the News & Star as we examined the issue of adult social care in the county, and found nine homes in north and west Cumbria were found to be missing at least one key basic standard. The shock findings sparked a call for action from politicians and social care experts, as the situation was labelled a “ticking timebomb”.

However, there is positive news for staff and residents at Stilecroft, after a recent inspection in September – the findings of which have just been published – showed that the home’s bosses have taken action.

The latest report states: “During our last inspection we found that staff were suitably qualified, skilled and experienced. However, we were informed of concerns that there had been a reduction in the number of staff on the rota.

“We found at the last inspection that the number of staff during the night had been reduced from four to three. This meant that instead of two staff supporting the nine people with dementia, there was only one member of staff between the hours of 9pm to 8am.

“This meant some people were not getting their needs met in a timely manner and that some of their choices and preferences could not be met.”

However, inspectors reported, the home’s care provider has subsequently reassessed the dependency levels of all residents to calculate exactly how many staff are needed.

“The rotas we looked at showed staffing levels were increased following our last visit,” the report continues. “We saw the provider had increased the staffing levels on the dementia unit. On the day of our visit there were 13 people on the unit and the staffing had been increased by one during the day and at night.

“Staff we spoke with told us they could now meet people’s needs in a timely manner and supervise people in the communal lounge.

“We saw staff in the lounge and supporting people with dementia taking time to listen, talk with and reassure people who were known to become distressed.”

Overall inspectors praised the actions of the home in addressing the concerns and described Stilecroft as having a “more relaxed atmosphere in the communal areas”.

Another senior carer has also been recruited since June, and the home is continually recruiting bank staff.

No one from the home was available to comment.

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