Wednesday, 25 November 2015

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Cumbrian care home is back on track after receiving warning

A CARE home has dramatically turned itself around after it was ordered to make urgent improvements to tackle serious concerns.

Changing fortunes: Above, the care home; right, the News & Star front page on October 13

Branthwaite Nursing Home, in Workington, was issued with a formalwarning after national inspectors raised concerns about the safety and welfare of its residents.

The home was inspected twice by the Care Quality Commission last year.

The News & Star revealed after an unannounced visit in August that in one instance a diabetic patient with mental health problems had not received their medication, which led to their condition deteriorating so much they were hospitalised. However, a third unannounced inspection in November – the findings of which have only just been published – reveal a remarkable turnaround.

The home temporarily suspended admissions while it addressed the serious failings, and a new interim manager has been largely credited for the “significant” improvements.

Patients were seen to be “calmer and more alert” and whereas in the past there had been concerns about dehydrated and undernourished patients, inspectors noted some residents had now put on weight.

Soiled furniture had been replaced, extra training put in place and agency nurses employed until full-time staff can be found.

A relative of one patient told inspectors: “They now have a manager who is proactive and I can see progress for individuals and for the service as a whole. There is a lot to do, but they have started.”

This was echoed by another relative, who added: “As a family we are prepared to give it time. There have been no further incidents where we were worried about safety.”

They also praised changes in staffing and extra recruitment, which mean patients now have continuity and nurses are no longer “sloppy” because they are not over worked.

The CQC report states that the home is now meeting all of its required standards except for one: it is still not keeping all case files and records up-to-date, but action is being taken to resolve this.

“We noted that staff were more aware of the content of care plans, but we also judged that following care planning strategies was still difficult for some staff,” the report said.

“We did see that the acting manager and the nurses on the unit noticed these lapses in care and were following up and supporting staff to deliver care properly.”

A CQC spokesperson said: “When we returned to Branthwaite Nursing Home in November inspectors found that significant improvements had been made. Issues had been taken seriously and dealt with appropriately. We are encouraged by the progress that has been made, however, further action is still needed to improve standards of records management and we will continue to monitor the home as they take the required steps towards full compliance."


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