Blackpool care home hit by Covid deaths told medication safety not up to scratch

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Concerns have been raised about staffing levels, safety and leadership at New Victoria Care Home in Blackpool following a Quality Commission visit

 

New Victoria Nursing Home in Hornby Road, Blackpool
New Victoria Nursing Home in Hornby Road, Blackpool (Image: Google)

Bosses at a care home have been told to make improvements after inspectors raised concerns about the safety of medication management.

Inspectors from healthcare watchdog the Care Quality Commission visited New Victoria Care Home, Blackpool, after concerns were raised about staffing levels, safety and leadership.

The home, in Hornby Road, provides care for up to 30 people and was inspected in June of this year, just three months after the previous inspection.

Last November two residents at New Victoria died after a major Covid outbreak which led to 22 people testing positive for the virus.

During their visit in June this year, inspectors found that staff at the care home were not consistent with record-keeping of medications after finding missing signatures and handwritten entries were not countersigned.

Stock control was not always clearly monitored.

Although concerns had been raised about staffing levels the inspectors were satisfied that these were sufficient.

“They are busy, but I see them taking their time and sitting down to chat with the residents.”

The effectiveness at the care home, which was rated as good at the previous inspection in 2019, has been downgraded to Requires Improvement.

Despite this, the inspectors found that residents were provided with a good choice of nutritious meals and staff provided timely care.

One resident said: “Good portions and if you want more that is not a problem.”

A relative added: “My [family member] always enjoys her meals, she’s never had any problems with that. She looks well because she’s eating well.”

The inspectors found that improvements were also required in the leadership of the care home and said management was inconsistent.

“Leaders and the culture they created did not always support the delivery of high-quality, person-centred care,” the inspectors said in their report published in August.

During the last inspection in March, inspectors concluded the provider had failed to robustly assess the risks relating to the health safety and welfare of people but sufficient improvement has since been made.

In their report, inspectors said: “One area of improvement involved employing a specific activities coordinator to increase people’s stimulation and wellbeing.

“One relative said: ‘They have lots of activities now, that’s one thing they really have improved on’.”

Although the inspectors said improvements were still required to the leadership of the home they found that “staff confirmed the registered manager was a strong, competent leader”.

One employee told inspectors: “You feel supported because the manager’s always around.”

Overall the care home was rated as Requires Improvement and the inspectors have requested an action plan from the registered managers, Marion Gourlay and Janet Moutrey.

The inspectors concluded: “This service has been rated requires improvement for the last two consecutive inspections.We found action had been taken to improve the leadership and safety of the home.

“However, we rated the key areas as requires improvement because the management team and staff need to demonstrate consistent good practice over time.”

A spokesperson New Victoria’s provider, Bacup-based Regency Healthcare told LancsLive: “We cannot deny we had one or two problems with the paperwork in the home and this has all been rectified. We have recently had further contact with CQC and they are happy with our progress.

“Over the past few months the CQC have changed the way they inspect and have weighted things differently. We probably were not au fait with the new changes. Or at least not as knowledgeable as we should have been.

“However, we are moving forward and we are not in breach of any regulations and are in a position where the CQC are satisfied and they are just going to monitor us for a short time to make sure we keep up to scratch. We recognise that when these reports come into the public domain it causes concern but we are continuing to provide a high standard of care to all our residents.

“If the QC did not inspect and publish they would not be doing their job.”