South Shore care home placed under special measures after CQC rules safety 'inadequate'
A care home faces closure if it does not improve after the industry watchdog found it was "not safe" and did not store medicines correctly.
Feng Shui House care home in New South Promenade was also rated "inadequate" for how "well-led" it was when healthcare watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected the home in March.
A raft of issues were found within the home, including with medicines, issues with governance arrangements and Covid-19 infection prevention.
A Covid outbreak hit the home in February, resulting in the deaths of four residents.
Nine members of staff tested positive for the virus, and 14 residents caught it in total, the owner of the care home said.
Inspectors asked staff whether they had been regularly tested for Covid, but they received "mixed feedback."
"Some staff we spoke with said they had not been recently tested for Covid-19. The provider stated all staff were tested regularly," and "we were not assured that before their outbreak of Covid-19, the provider was accessing regular testing for people using the service and staff," inspectors said.
They added: "The provider did not always follow best practice when preventing the spread of infection. During an outbreak of Covid-19 the provider provided two days day care to one person within the home.
"The provider stated that everyone who were Covid-19 positive were cared for on a separate floor and remained in their rooms.
"Different staff supported the people who were Covid-19 positive. These actions reduced the risk but still exposed one person to some risk of avoidable harm."
Despite the concerns found with infection prevention and control, CQC was satisfied that staff were "using PPE effectively and safely."
Concerns about medicines management were highlighted, whereby "systems for recording, storing and handling medicines were in place but these were not always being followed so there was a risk people would not be supported to have their medicines safely."
Medicines requiring cold storage were "not safely kept" and were "not always given in line with prescriber's instructions."
The wrong dose of a medicine was given to one person, documents showed.
Inspectors observed various safety issues around the home, with the passenger lift having not been serviced for 14 months, and "several doors throughout the home were secured open either with wedges or due to uneven floors the doors stayed open when pushed fully back."
In addition, care plans did not always reflect people’s needs, and one person did not receive timely health care support, the report showed.
Three people's records "did not hold all the necessary information related to their underlying health conditions."
Residents told inspectors they felt safe at the home, and staff were able to explain how to raise a concern to safeguard people.
People and staff spoke positively about the food and the choice of food they had, and felt the provider was approachable and supportive, inspectors said.
Kate Blyth, owner of the care home, said some of the CQC's findings were down to "extenuating circumstances."
She said: "Most staff were not tested regularly as nine got Covid, and the law states not to be tested for 90 days after being diagnosed, so how can you test them all regularly?
"All other staff were tested regularly, they said the same about the residents - 14 got the virus, we couldn’t test them either, only six were tested who didn’t get it.
"The medicines they mention were actually ointments, some people have capacity and want to apply the cream themselves, some are kept in a locked cabinet.
"Total nonsense about underlying health conditions - no pharmacist puts that information on a sticker. This was about someone whose medicines are time specific, and we don’t select the time it’s to be given, the doctors does - we just follow the instructions.
"After having "good" in all areas only a few months before as witnessed by the CQC inspector where everything was in order, it seems strange that within a three month period everything went pear shaped."
Feng Shui House will be reinspected within six months of the report, and if not enough improvement has been made it could be forced to close.
Inspectors said: "If the provider has not made enough improvement within this time frame and there is still a rating of inadequate for any key question or overall rating, we will take action in line with our enforcement procedures.
"This will mean we will begin the process of preventing the provider from operating this service.
"This will usually lead to cancellation of their registration or to varying the conditions of the registration."