Damning inspections mark North Staffordshire care home as ‘inadequate’

Inspectors have placed a care home in North Staffordshire into special measures after giving it the lowest possible rating. The Care Quality Commission has raised concerns about the spread of infection, fire safety and staffing issues at the ‘inadequate’ Silverdale Nursing Home following its latest inspection.

The CQC is also concerned about the lack of ‘meaningful activity’ at the home, with one resident telling inspectors he hadn’t been out in two years and another saying he felt like a prisoner. Some residents had also experienced involuntary weight loss without any action being taken to address it.

The inspection was carried out in part due to concerns received about risk management and people being unlawfully restricted to the Newcastle Street home. It was rated as “inadequate” overall with inadequate ratings for safe, efficient, caring, responsive and well directed.

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Silverdale Nursing Home, which is run by Silverdale Care Homes Limited, provides accommodation and personal care for up to 27 people, including people with dementia. It had already been rated “good” after its last inspection in 2018.

Amanda Lyndon, Adult Social Care Inspection Manager at the CQC, said: ‘When we inspected Silverdale Nursing Home, we found a ward where the standard of care had deteriorated significantly since our last inspection. People’s safety and well-being needs were not being met, some staff were indifferent and risks were not being managed effectively.

“People told us they were not treated with respect or kindness and that their individual needs were not taken into account. They said they were often ignored by staff or spoken to in a rude and unfriendly manner.

“It was heartbreaking to see that people weren’t being supported to take part in meaningful activities and one person said she hadn’t been out in two years, while another said she felt like a prisoner in the house. This is unacceptable.

“It was also concerning that several people had suffered unintended weight loss and no action was taken to address it, putting them at risk of harm. People’s food preferences were not taken into account. account and a person who was a vegetarian was given meat to eat.

“Staff turnover was high and newcomers were not recruited safely or given proper training or supervision. Existing managers and staff were unclear about their roles and responsibilities.

“The supplier had employed consultants prior to our inspection who were working on an action plan to make improvements. Their input was positive and focused on improving outcomes for people, but they hadn’t been around long enough for us to see meaningful changes to implement.

“We will continue to closely monitor Silverdale Nursing Home to make sure people are safe. If we are not sure that people receive safe care, we will not hesitate to act.

The inspector’s report raised the following concerns:

  • The risks have not been mitigated against the spread of infection. There was an outbreak of sickness and diarrhea on the first day of the inspection. The registered manager was aware, but no action had been taken to isolate symptomatic people.
  • The fire service had identified fire safety concerns on a previous visit, including when an emergency door in the garden was locked. Inspectors found that no action had been taken and the gate to the garden was still locked at the time of the inspection.
  • People’s medicines were not always stored safely. For example, one person’s insulin was given to them after being kept out of the refrigerator for seven weeks. The box of insulin stated that the medicine should not be stored outside the refrigerator for more than four weeks.
  • People were supported by a large number of agency staff who had not been properly vetted before starting work.
  • The systems in place did not protect people from the risk of abuse.
  • Staff turnover was high and agency staff supporting people was inconsistent. This meant that they didn’t always know people well enough to be able to meet their needs safely.
  • People’s nutrition and water intake records lacked detail and did not record the specific foods people ate.
  • People were living in housing that was not suited to their needs. For example, minimal adaptations had been made to the home to help people with dementia navigate.

Being in special measures means the CQC will keep the house under review, and if it doesn’t offer to cancel the provider’s registration, inspectors will return in six months to check for ‘significant’ improvements. Silverdale Care Homes has been approached for comment.

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