Park House Improvement Plan Agreed

Park House

Park House

A blueprint for improving Park House services has been approved by councillors.

Although the residential home met required standards, the Care Quality Commission suggested improvements after inspectors found failings in 4 out of 7 key areas during an unannounced inspection last September.

Head of adult health and social care, Clive Acraman, has outlined a plan where Park House operates within an environment that continually seeks to improve and which provides a service that locals are proud of.

Clive told councillors that the leadership should question practices on a day-to-day basis.

And in line with the CQC report, there’ll be more personalised care for residents. All Park House users will have a care and support plan signed either by themselves, a relative or a carer.

Residents will have more food choices too with a daily printed menu, with alternatives offered, and they’ll be clearly told they can request food or drink options anytime, day or night.

The inspectors found there were limited activities particularly for people who required dementia care and Clive said there’d be an emphasis on that.

Recently a Department of Health official told councillors that some mainland health professionals felt that they shouldn’t diagnose dementia because of the costs of support. Clive said that wasn’t an issue in Scilly as the GP practice was committed to identifying the condition.

Financing the service remains an issue as the NHS is funded for medically unfit people and not for people with ongoing care needs.

Clive pointed out that there is a conflict between Park House and hospital funding, but Peninsula Community Health, who jointly operate the adult care hub at the hospital with the Council are providing some free training.

Their occupational therapy dementia specialist will help train local staff in the care and support needs of people living with dementia.

Ongoing training is a key part of the improvement strategy. Clive warned that knowledge could ‘drift away’ when staff leave the islands unless there is continual programme.

Leoni Jones, the active living coordinator will be sent on a specialist dementia course this month and will spend at least three afternoons each week consulting residents over activities they wish to take part in. And there’ll be more opportunities to reminisce, engage in craftwork and baking.

The CQC found that Park House users were not fully protected from the risk of abuse because there wasn’t enough training to help staff identify it. They said staff were not supported in their work through regular supervision.

Workers will now receive at least one hour of supervision every six to eight weeks and each employee will be given the safeguarding and whistle blowing policies. Visitors will be encouraged to report concerns, too.

When the inspectors came, they couldn’t view personnel files to check that staff were appropriately qualified and mentally and physically able to do their job.

They were locked up in the Town Hall and human resources staff were away.

Cllr Amanda Martin wanted the access issue addressed at, “the top of the priorities list” claiming not having access left the Council in a vulnerable position.

Community services director Penny Penn-Howard praised Clive for making mainland connections with groups and organisations that could help with services in Scilly.

And chairman of community services Richard McCarthy thanked him for developing the improvement plans so quickly.

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