Councillor Says Care Quality Commission Picking Fault Over Park House

Park House

The Care Quality Commission report into Scilly’s residential care home, which identified failings in four out of seven areas, was a case of inspectors trying to find fault.

That’s the view of Cllr Gordon Bilsborough, who backs the findings that residents are happy. He says that issues raised were minor, relate to process and procedure, and show a ‘box-ticking’ mentality on the part of the CQC.

Gordon spoke out as fellow councillors discussed the government agency’s report, which followed in an unexpected visit in September.

Adult Social Services Manager, Jonny Lawrence-Roberts, felt that the CQC was being harder with Park House than they may normally be, because media interest had heightened concerns.

He suggested that the inspectors may have been told to be more stringent.

Chair of Community Services, Cllr Richard McCarthy, said there was no sign whatsoever of maltreatment and he reminded members that residents had said they liked Park House and one person had called it ‘paradise.’

But there were words of caution from some members.

Cllr Christine Savill was reassured that Park House residents were content but she was disappointed that the inspectors found a lack of staff training and she felt the councillors should take on board and learn from the findings.

Cllr Marian Bennett felt the Council had to be vigilant and should not be complacent, as that would be a disservice to elderly residents.

While Cllr Fred Ticehurst warned that there was an air of complacency regarding Park House, and he didn’t want that state of mind to lead to risks being played down here.

The Council is to adopt the inspectors’ recommendations and Jonny says the staff have created a comprehensive action plan.

He says the report has been, “a wake-up call for all of us at Park House,” and said he fully intends to address the issues raised.

This includes improving dementia care services, a process that Park House management say they had begun at the time of inspection.

A detailed plan of action has been drafted and members will see that at their next committee meeting in February.

Cllr Mollie Peacock said if those points were followed, “ours will be a super home.”

But management systems may be tested before then. Jonny believes there could be another inspection as soon as January.


3 Responses to Councillor Says Care Quality Commission Picking Fault Over Park House

  1. Samual Vimes cmdr December 19, 2012 at 11:33 am

    The care given is excellent however……
    “Low staffing levels, weak management, lack of practice leadership and lack of policy awareness.” Are the issues that need to be dealt with.

  2. Peter December 18, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I have posted on this site recently quite a lot on other issues as a concerned regular Scilly holidaymaker, speaking from an amateur perspective. But this topic concerns issues related to how I earn my living and about which I have a great deal of specialised professional knowledge. I first saw this topic on the website a few weeks ago and thought of posting my concerns and my professional perspective, but decided to hold back. But I am alarmed at this latest report. Let me stress that I know nothing of Park House and I have no evidence whatsoever of anything other than good care standards there. However, managers and local councillors need to be very careful not to be seen as complacent. The big issue here is Park House’s geographical isolation, as isolation is known to be a very strong predictor of abusive care practices. If I were advising councillors and managers I would recommend that, instead of complaining about the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) hard stance, I would take their concerns very seriously (and I say this as someone who is no fan of CQC). Remember also the recent catalogue of care abuse scandals in Cornwall. Benbow, S. (2008) in “Failures in the system: our inability to learn from inquiries” in The Journal of Adult Protection identified the following common risk factors for abuse: low staffing levels, geographically isolated services, a neglected physical environment, weak management, lack of practice leadership and lack of policy awareness. Marsland et al (2007) identified early indicators of abuse of people in residential settings and highlighted the particular significance of service isolation, arguing that in these situations unacceptable practices can become normalised and staff may be cut off from new ideas and information about best practice. For details of these research findings, see the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) Adult Services Report 41: Prevention in Adult Safeguarding. The claim as described in the Scilly Today report from Cllr McCarthy that there is no sign of maltreatment at Park House is of no relevance, as prevention and precaution are the guiding principles here. Jonny Lawrence-Roberts is reported as saying that CQC were being harder with Park House than they may normally be, and, for the reasons I have cited, so CQC should be, and, as Adult Social Services Manager, he should be aware of, and acting on, the SCIE evidence quoted above, rather than complaining about CQC and hinting at media-appeasement by CQC. Cllrs Savill, Bennett and Ticehurst are right in recognising the importance of paying attention to CQC. Cllr Bilsborough is wrong. The managers of Park House and Social Services need to be very careful indeed on this.

  3. trevelyan December 18, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    CQC will look to the service to compile an action plan which will lead to full compliance.
    They normally visit 3 months after the service identifies it will be compliant with all outcomes.
    To say the compliance visit was picky is a knee jerk reaction but does not detract from the fact the service needs to improve.