A GOVERNMENT watchdog unveiled a string of failures at a Hartlepool care home.
The Lindisfarne nursing and residential home in Masefield Road has removed the nursing element of its care after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found the provider, Gainford Care Homes, was failing to meet nine national standards.
The CQC – which investigated after safeguarding concerns were flagged up by Hartlepool Borough Council and the Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – told Gainford it must take immediate action to improve standards at Lindisfarne.
Inspectors found care plans were inconsistent and did not always show people’s needs had been fully assessed prior to or following admission.
There were also concerns that staff lacked skills and experience to provide nursing care that fully met the needs of people with more complex physical healthcare requirements.
In cases where people lacked the capacity to consent, inspectors found that the provider had not acted in line with legal requirements.
Regular monitoring of food and fluid intake was not being carried out for residents at high risk of malnutrition or dehydration and nutrition screening failed to notice that one person had lost more than 10 per cent of their body weight in three months.
Inspectors also found that the home did not fully protect people with appropriate arrangements for the recording and handling of medicines.
The watchdog also says up-to-date training was not being provided and staff were not sufficiently supported to carry out their roles.
Inspectors added that the home did not effectively monitor the quality of service and there was a lack of systems to manage risks or improve the service by learning from incidents or errors.
Gainsford has now made the decision to stop providing nursing care at Lindisfarne, with the loss of two jobs.
The home, which has 54 rooms and specialises in dementia, has been open for eight years, but introduced the nursing element nine months ago.
All residents with nursing care needs are being supported by the council and CCG to find alternative arrangements.
CQC regional director Malcolm Bower-Brown said: “The failings at Lindisfarne are a real concern and we have told the provider where immediate improvements need to be made.
“We continue to monitor the situation carefully and we will not hesitate to take further regulatory action should this prove necessary to ensure the people using the service receive the service they are entitled to expect.”
Gainsford Care Homes proprietor Susan McAlear said two workers are no longer in post and added: “The problems that were within the home were all around nursing.
“We immediately took the nursing out once we realised, and now the problems have gone.”
A joint statement from the council and CCG said: “Following safeguarding concerns identified by Hartlepool council and the CCG relating to the quality of care provision within Lindisfarne, representatives of the council, CCG, CQC and other health professionals agreed an action plan to address those concerns.
“The action plan included an unannounced inspection by CQC and increased monitoring by social workers, CCG staff and nurses.
“The proprietor of Lindisfarne, with support from both the council and the CCG, agreed to suspend new admissions to the home and also agreed that the home would revert back to providing care only for people with general residential care needs or elderly mentally infirm residential care needs, which had previously been assessed by both the council and CQC as satisfactory.
“The council, CCG and Lindisfarne have worked with the residents and their families who were affected.
“Residents receiving nursing care have been helped to move to alternative nursing homes.
“This has enabled Lindisfarne to concentrate on the care and support provided to people with general residential care needs or elderly mentally infirm residential care needs.”