Heron House care home making improvements, Care Quality Commission says after unannounced inspection

Heron House Care Home, March.

Heron House Care Home, March. - Credit: Archant

Heron House care home in March has made significant progress since its last inspection but still “requires improvement” in certain areas, a Care Quality Commission report says.

During its previous inspection, in September, inspectors found not all records were kept up to date, some people did not have access to their call bells and there were a lack of activities for people to do.

But an unannounced inspection, carried out on January 13, found steps have been taken to improve care and welfare, management of medicines, the support staff receive and how the service is monitored.

Staff are “kind and caring” and 23 staff posts have been filled to reduce the need for agency staff.

Peoples’ risks of choking have been risk assessed and call bells are within reach, inspectors said.

Peoples’ privacy and dignity are respected at all times and they are encouraged to engage in hobbies and make friends.

Inspectors said: “Staff were better supported than at our last inspection and the standard and quality of their work is kept under review.

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“New staff received induction training to ensure they understood their roles and responsibilities.

“People had positive comments to say about the care staff. One of the people told us the staff are very good, they look after you and they are very caring.

“Another person said the staff are all very kind. A relative told us the workers see to our family member really well. They’re brilliant.

“Relatives told us that they visited most days and at a time when they chose to. We saw staff welcoming people’s visitors and offering them a drink and a chair to sit on.

“People told us that staff knocked on their doors and waited for permission before entering and we saw that this was often the case. In addition, people were supported with their personal care behind closed doors.”

However, while the care home was rated as “good” for safety, care and responsiveness, it “requires improvement” in the effectiveness and leadership categories.

The report said: “Improvements are needed in relation to assessing peoples’ pain and the management of peoples’ behaviours that challenge others.

“People were sometimes given medication hidden in food without this being assessed to be in their best interest.

“Records were not always completed to provide evidence that people were always supported to eat and drink sufficient amounts.

“Medication and dining experience audits had been carried out but it was unclear what actions were taken in response to the findings.”

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