Serious injuries went unreported at Littlehampton home

Summerlea House Nursing Home which was rated 'inadequete' by the Care Quality Commission during its latest inspection SUS-150422-100358001
Summerlea House Nursing Home which was rated 'inadequete' by the Care Quality Commission during its latest inspection SUS-150422-100358001
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INSPECTORS have rated a Littlehampton nursing home as ‘inadequate’, after a further visit following a critical report last year.

Summerlea House Nursing Home, in East Street, was graded as ‘requires improvement’ on three measures and ‘inadequate’ on two more in the latest report by the Care Quality Commission, released this week.

“We are confident that the policies and systems introduced will ensure our home learns from this experience and ensure the current high levels of care are sustained and further improved through ongoing quality management of the service.”

Caroline Flecther, manager of Summerlea House Nursing Home

A team of three inspectors called at the home, unannounced, in January, to assess progress made since a visit in September resulted in Summerlea House failing to meet five standards and passing on just two.

Among the concerns raised by the CQC team in the new report was a failure to report two incidents of serious injuries to residents to the relevant authority. This breached a Government regulation, and a warning notice was served on the home’s owner, London Residential Healthcare (LRH) and Summerlea House’s registered manager, ordering them to comply with the regulation by April 10.

A similar warning notice with the same deadline was issued for not delivering and planning care to ensure people’s safety and welfare.

Other concerns highlighted in the report included not having enough nursing staff to care for residents and insufficient skilled staff to meet the needs of people living in the Rosemead Unit, a separate area of accommodation for those with advanced dementia.

There was also ‘a lack of policy and procedures in place to ensure medicines were administered safely and effectively when they were not required regularly. Staff had not ensured the correct processes were followed when a person received their medicines covertly’.

Shortcomings were also observed in how staff were guided by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 when working with people who lacked the capacity to make decisions, and the registered manager and staff did not have a good understanding of when to implement safeguards on restricting the freedom of residents in their best interests, the report states.

As well as the two serious injuries which were not reported to the local authority, the inspectors became aware of others. “We found some people’s records included evidence of injuries such as bruising and skin tears, which had not been reported. This meant that people were not fully protected from the risk of potential or actual abuse,” they added.

Caroline Flecther, manager at the home, said she remained ‘fully committed to the delivery of the highest quality of care’ to residents but ‘deeply regrets the findings of the CQC’.

She said: “The areas of non-compliance are being fully addressed through investment in staff training, recruitment of experienced, skilled and highly competent staff as well as the senior management support to the home.

“We are confident that the policies and systems introduced will ensure our home learns from this experience and ensure the current high levels of care are sustained and further improved through ongoing quality management of the service.”