THE new manager of a Highcliffe care home has said she will use criticism in a national watchdog report to “drive through” ideas to make it better.
Newtown House was judged ‘requires improvement’ in a recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which highlighted that identified risks for people had not been monitored and reviewed and medicine administration was “not always carried out in a safe way”.
Speaking to the A&T, manager Sue Makhzangi vowed she would put things right at the home, which she stressed was “happy and caring”.
She added: “Any advice from CQC will always be welcomed by me and we will use our inspection report to drive through the aspirational hopes and ambitions we have for Newtown House.”
Based in Waterford Road, the home is run by Highcliffe Nursing Services Ltd, a part of Quality Care Group. It provides accommodation and personal care to older people as a single package in a contractual agreement and hosts some who have dementia.
Inspectors turned up unannounced and spent two days there in October, at which time there were 19 people in the 26 registered beds it has. They ruled the home did not meet standards in three out of five categories they looked into.
The CQC said it had recommended the service consider National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) or other professional guidance on dementia friendly care home environments when reviewing people’s eating and drinking needs and experiences.
The CQC also said the home’s dining experience was “not dementia friendly”. There were no pictures to assist people make meal choices, “very limited” dining space, and main meals and desserts being served together created “confusion for some people eating independently”.
It added that while auditing processes were in place, they had not been effective in identifying things the CQC had highlighted.
On the positive side, inspectors said the manager was responsive to the findings and provided an action plan detailing how the shortfalls would be addressed.
People were supported by well-trained staff, protected from discrimination and avoidable infection, and when things went wrong incidents were used as opportunities to “reflect, learn and continually drive improvement”, the report continued.
Prior to admission assessments captured people’s needs and choices and the information was used to create person-centred care plans. Staff were recruited safely and got on-going training which provided them with the skills they needed in their roles and opportunities for professional development.
Partnerships with other agencies such as mental health specialists enabled effective care for people, who were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives.
People and their families described the staff as “kind, patient and caring”, felt involved in decisions about their care and had their privacy, dignity and independence respected. A complaints process was in place that people felt able to use and were listened to when they did, the CQC added.