Poulton care home moves to improve after CQC inspection brands it 'unsafe'

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A care home in Poulton said it is working to improve on its shortcomings after the industry watchdog branded it ‘unsafe.’

Alexandra Nursing Home in Moorland Road, Poulton, was ordered to improve by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following an inspection on November 6.

Inspectors rated the care home's safety measures as "inadequate," amid concerns "people were not safe and were at risk of avoidable harm."

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The home was found to be "good" when it came to effective service and the caring nature of staff, but responsiveness and leadership were marked at "requires improvement."

Alexandra Nursing Home in Moorland Road, Poulton, has been ordered to improve by healthcare watchdog CQC following an inspection in November which deemed some of its practices "unsafe." Photo: Daniel Martino for JPI MediaAlexandra Nursing Home in Moorland Road, Poulton, has been ordered to improve by healthcare watchdog CQC following an inspection in November which deemed some of its practices "unsafe." Photo: Daniel Martino for JPI Media
Alexandra Nursing Home in Moorland Road, Poulton, has been ordered to improve by healthcare watchdog CQC following an inspection in November which deemed some of its practices "unsafe." Photo: Daniel Martino for JPI Media

The findings prompted the management team at Alexandra to reassess the service, and they said they were "confident all issues have been fixed."

The CQC, which has been inspecting care providers as part of reviews to ensure that Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) practice is safe during the coronavirus pandemic, dropped the care home's overall rating down from "good" to "requires improvement."

A report published by the healthcare watchdog on December 22 said: "We identified breaches in relation to staffing, safe care and treatment and good governance at this inspection.

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"The registered manager had not consistently assessed and managed risks to people's health, safety and wellbeing. Staff were not always provided with up to date guidance on how to keep people safe. We found care plans did not always accurately reflect people's current needs.

"Fire safety was not adequately risk assessed and planned for. We found eight fire doors that did not close properly.

"We found no evidence that people had been harmed, however, systems were either not in place or robust enough to demonstrate safety was effectively managed.

"This placed people at risk of harm."

Staffing measures were also of concern to the CQC, which stated not enough staff were deployed at all times to ensure people's safety, there was no robust system in place to ensure training, and staff told inspectors there was not always enough of them to meet people's needs.

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The CQC revealed that infection prevention and control at the home prompted "serious concerns," after staff were found not to be stringently following social distancing guidelines, PPE was not always used correctly, and areas in the home such as bathrooms and residents' walking aids were "visibly unclean."

The deterioration of the care home's rating saw managers and staff vow to pull themselves back up to a "good" rating in time for the next inspection.

A spokesman for the management team at Alexandra Nursing Home said: "Firstly we would like to state we accept the CQC report and we have made great progress to rectify the shortcomings.

"We believe the lessons learned will make us a better home going forward and continue to provide the standard of care that we expect amongst ourselves.

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"No evidence of harm to our residents was found, and the fire service found no safety breaches when we were inspected, so no enforcement notices were issued.

"There is no doubt the initial disappointment of the inspection has translated into a space of reflection where we have already identified how we can improve. Although we don’t want to make excuses, the Covid 19 pandemic has taken a toll on every provider and we have not been immune to these challenges.

"Bearing this in mind we have a passionate desire to get back to the overall “good” ratings that the home has enjoyed for a number of years through the hard work of our team."

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