Report finds Littlehampton care home as ‘inadequate’

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A NURSING home rated as ‘inadequate’ has breached government health regulations – despite warnings from health inspectors in January.

Summerlea House Nursing Home, in East Street, Littlehampton, has been graded as ‘requires improvement’ on three measures, and ‘inadequate’ on two measures, in the latest report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Inspectors visited the service on April 14, to check the home had met legal requirements following a critical inspection in January. But they found ‘significant shortfalls’ in the provision of person-centred care, including those with dementia.

The CQC report, published on May 27, states: “Care records did not identify individualised plans for care for people, particularly those with specific health or social needs.

“Care staff did not access or inform care plans to ensure the care the person received was in line with their needs.”

Following the January inspection, the manager developed an action plan to try to meet the needs of residents – and people living in the Rosemead Unit, a separate area of accommodation for those with advanced dementia.

But inspectors found the issues had not been addressed – as care plans completed by nurses had not been seen by care staff.

Two CQC inspectors spoke to nine people who lived at the home and five relatives. They also spoke to the registered manager Caroline Fletcher and five members of staff – including two nurses.

One carer told the CQC: “Lots of people get aggressive or shout at each other. There are no guidelines, I don’t refer to care plans and I know what to do from my training about dementia.”

Inspectors raised concerns about the lack of ‘specific guidance’ to support aggressive and agitated residents in January but said management had not yet addressed the problem.

Although most relatives said their loved ones were settled in the home, adding staff were patient and kind, one relative said the residents with dementia were ‘forgotten’ and just sit in the lounge and ‘do nothing’.

Inspectors also found there was a ‘lack of leadership’ in the management of care plans and found some incidents and accidents hadn’t been reviewed.

The CQC said the manager had ‘failed’ to ensure a system was in place where care needs were ‘assessed and monitored’.

The report notes a ‘significant’ increase in the number of falls reported in January, from 19 falls in December 2014 to 32 falls in January 2015.

But inspectors discovered no figures were available for February or March 2015 and managers were unable to explain why there had been an increase in the number of falls.

Inspectors said: “This meant we could not be assured incidents and accidents were being monitored effectively and appropriate actions taken to ensure they safety and welfare of people.”

Inspectors will be assessing safety, effectiveness and care at the nursing home at the next inspection.

The report said: “We could not improve the rating because to do so requires consistent good practice over time.”

Summerlea House Nursing Home did not respond the Littlehampton Gazette’s request for a comment.