Care home warned to improve records

Beacon Farm Care Home, Cramlington.
Beacon Farm Care Home, Cramlington.
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A CRAMLINGTON care home has been slammed by a government watchdog for failing to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its residents.

Beacon Farm Care Home now has until next month to clean up its act or face further action from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The CQC has issued a formal warning to owner Cotswold Spa Retirement Hotels Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Four Seasons Healthcare Ltd, calling for improvements to its standard of care at the Beacon Lane home.

The warning follows an unannounced visit by inspectors on July 19, during which a sample of care records were reviewed and several members of staff including the temporary manager were spoken to.

The CQC found the provider was failing to plan and deliver, effective care to people living at the home, and that improvements were needed.

Inspectors found people were not receiving the required care to meet their individual needs, as recorded in their care plans, and that records were not up to date and individual needs were not being reviewed on a regular basis.

Records also showed several residents, who had been identified as needing to be weighed on a weekly basis to monitor any loss, had not been weighed for over two weeks, and there was no documented explanation as to why this had not been done.

CQC said it is now working closely with commissioners in Northumberland to ensure the safety of all residents.

Malcolm Bower-Brown, deputy director of CQC in the north said: “The law says that these are the standards that everyone who uses services should be able to expect.

“Providers have a duty to ensure they meet these standards.

“This warning sends a clear and public message that Cotswold Spa Retirement Hotels Ltd needs to address this issue as a matter of urgency or face serious consequences.

“We will return to Beacon Farm in the near future and if we find that the provider is not making the required progress we won’t hesitate to use our legal powers to protect the people who live there.”

A spokesperson for Four Seasons Healthcare Ltd said: “We regret that in this instance some aspects of care at Beacon Farm fell below the standards we usually deliver and that our residents are entitled to expect.

“The CQC inspection found that the home was compliant in most respects.

“However, we accept that there were some moderate concerns particularly around administration and records of individual care plans and other related documentation.

“The wellbeing and comfort of residents is our priority and we are taking urgent action to address this aspect of performance.

“We now have a very experienced and capable home manager in place and we are implementing a comprehensive improvement programme including tightening up those aspects of administration and record keeping, with the home manager carrying out frequent random audits.

“We are confident that we have made significant progress in the areas identified for improvement.

“The home is compliant with CQC standards in other aspects of performance including providing a service which has quality checking systems to manage risks within the home and assure the health, welfare and safety of people who receive care; having properly trained and supervised staff; administration of medication; food and drink meeting residents’ dietary needs.

“We were encouraged to see that the CQC report included a number of favourable and supportive comments from relatives of residents.