Park House Still Not Meeting Required Standards

Park House

Park House

Park House has again failed to meet all the required standards during a return visit by the Care Quality Commission.

They made an unannounced inspection of the care home on March 4th and have just published their report, which states further action is required in four out of the six areas reviewed.

As reported during the first inspection in September, the CQC found that the home was treating people with dignity and their independence was respected. And the four residents they spoke to were full of praise for the home and the staff, who were described as “kind and caring.”

And inspectors said staff were properly qualified. They were unable to confirm this last year because HR records were unavailable during that visit.

From Radio Scilly

Clive Acraman on the Latest Park House CQC Report

But staff expressed concern about the staffing levels at the home and the CQC said on some occasions there was only one carer on duty, supervised by an officer. This was not sufficient to meet requirements, they say.

One worker said they wanted to help people go out for a walk or shopping more often, but there were not usually enough staff in the home to allow for this.

And the CQC reported that staff were still not being adequately trained, identifying gaps in training for safeguarding, first aid, food hygiene, dementia awareness and fire safety.

One member of the care staff had not attended any training at all and inspectors said the reason for this was unclear, even though the person had worked there for several years.

The CQC were told that the training programme had been delayed because bad weather had hampered trainers getting to the islands over winter.

Last September, inspectors said that policies about the safety of residents’ money were confusing and they said this still hasn’t been resolved, although the manager was aware it needed correcting.

Staff were also still unaware that they could report any concerns directly to Cornwall Adult Care Services, who are the lead agency for investigating any issues.

When inspectors called, a safeguarding issue over an alleged theft of money was on-going but no-one had reported to Cornwall Adult Services. It was reported after the inspectors spoke with the manager.

Care plans are now in place for all residents. They describe what staff need to do to meet their specific requirements but the inspectors saw examples of where these were not being followed.

A new acting Adult Social Care Manager, Clive Acraman, was brought in to oversee the home after the surprise resignation of the former Social Care Manager, Jonny Lawrence-Roberts in February.

Clive said he disputed the CQC’s findings that staff were not properly trained.

He said there were no members of staff who had worked at Park house for several years with no training, as stated in the report, and said this was probably because they had been put on the spot while being questioned.

He admits there were gaps in the training records and these are being addressed as a matter of urgency. He also says that while the rotas that the inspectors reviewed showed gaps in staffing levels, these did not affect the care of the residents and may have been due to staff members from the home working out in the community.

The rotas have since been rewritten to ensure there are at least three people on duty in Park House at all time, says Clive.

Mr Acraman said the safeguarding issue happened the day before the CQC arrived for their unannounced visit and the delay in reporting it to Cornwall Adult Services was due to him making sure all the legal aspects were covered first. He said the inspectors accepted this reason.

On Monday, the Council announced that Park House manager, Lesley Burrows, is retiring from her post on 17th May after 25 years at the home.

Clive said no-one has been appointed to run Park House after Lesley leaves as she only gave notice a few days ago. But he said he would be taking on responsibility to ensure there was a registered manager in place.

Clive’s initial 6 month secondment finishes at the end of month and, while he couldn’t say whether that would be extended, he says Penny Penn-Howard, the Director for Community Services, would take responsibility for the improvement plan if he did leave.

After the last inspection, some councillors criticised the Care Quality Commission for ‘box ticking’ and trying to find fault in the home. Others, however, felt there was an air of complacency regarding Park House and they didn’t want the risks played down.

The Council will need to respond to the CQC by next Tuesday with a clear action.

You can see a full copy of the report at the CQC website.