Old folks’ home ordered to improve its standards

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A FORMAL warning has been issued to a South Yorkshire care home where inspectors found staff were not properly recording use of medicines and had ‘deprived’ a resident of their liberty.

The Care Quality Commission has told Althorpe Health Care Ltd to make urgent improvements to standards at Althorpe Lodge in Dinnington - or face further action.

The warning follows an unannounced visit by inspectors to the 90-bed home on Falcon Way on November 9, following a previous review of compliance. On the latest inspection, the commission said it found the home was still failing to meet Government standards in relation to the safeguarding of residents and the management of medicines.

Jo Dent, regional director of the Care Quality Commission in Yorkshire, said: “The law says these are the standards everyone should be able to expect. Providers have a duty to ensure they are compliant. This warning sends a clear and public message that Althorpe Health Care Ltd needs to address this issue as a matter of urgency or face serious consequences.

“Our inspectors will return to Althorpe Lodge in the near future and, if we find the provider is not making required progress, will not hesitate to use our legal powers to protect the people who live there.”

Inspectors said procedures for reporting safeguarding incidents were not always followed correctly, meaning people living in the home were not being protected adequately from the risk of abuse. They also found evidence of a failure to adhere to deprivation of liberty safeguarding protocols, and noted one resident had been deprived of liberty without the correct authorisation.

The commission said the home was also failing in its recording, handling, administration and use of medicines. Some residents’ care records did not provide the correct dosage information, meaning some were receiving more than the recommended amount of medication.

A spokesperson for the home said: “We take all our regulatory requirements seriously and have worked tirelessly to resolve the matters highlighted by the regulators. Additional enhanced training has been provided for all staff and the home continues to be supported by senior staff until all requirements with regulators are met.

“We are open and transparent in all our dealings and the home is always pleased to arrange a visit to demonstrate the high standards of care we offer.”