Heron House “requires improvement”, says inspectors who note things have got better in some areas but not others

Heron House Care Home, March.

Heron House Care Home, March. - Credit: Archant

A care home has been told it “requires improvement” in several ares.

Care Quality Commission inspectors said leadership at Heron House in March “had not made sure people were always kept safe and received quality and effective care”.

It is the second time this year the care home, which can accommodate 92 people, has been visited by inspectors.

In January, inspectors found breaches in three legal requirements - in relation to people’s right to consent, their care and welfare and management of the home.

This time round, inspectors found people’s mental and physical health needs were met.

The report says: “Where people were assessed not to have capacity, they were supported in the decision making process and care was provided in the person’s best interest.

“This included care with personal care, medicines, which included medicines disguised in food and drink, and end-of-life decisions.

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“We saw a person’s decision about when they wanted to take their prescribed medicines was respected and another person’s decision about when they wanted to eat their lunch was also respected.”

Action had been taken to assess people’s pain and they were supported to take their medicines to ease and control their pain, inspectors said.

Music was played at a low level to reduce the risk of people, who were sensitive to noise, from becoming unsettled.

Menu choices were presented on plated food for the person to see and smell and make their decision from this

sensory experience.

A programme of activities had been developed, which included monthly religious services, bingo and a coffee morning to raise money for charity.

However, inspectors said they saw a person ‘looking’ at magazines but staff did not encourage or discuss these with the person. Another person was seated near staff but they did not talk with the person or include them in their conversations.

Inspectors found people’s medicines were kept secure at all times and medicine audits had been carried out. Dining room audits had been carried out and there had been an improvement in people’s dining room experiences.

Members of nursing and catering staff told inspectors they had noticed an improvement in the overall management of the home and the atmosphere of the home had improved, due to the leadership styles of the managers.

However, inspectors highlighted an incident where staff applied “unsafe moving and handling techniques”.

And, referring to another incident, inspectors said: “We also saw a person had become in a state of undress and we took action to preserve their dignity, as members of staff had failed to do so.

“We also found that there was no action taken in response to a person’s ability to wear their footwear, due to a (possible) change in their medical condition.”