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Care home ‘still needs to improve’

Inspectors who issued damning report six months ago return to find agency staff filling gaps

01 December, 2017 — By Emily Finch

Lennox House Care Home in Finsbury Park

A PRIVATE care home which was given the worst possible rating by a health watchdog still has a high turnover of agency staff and has failed to recruit a permanent registered manager – six months after a damning inspection put it in ‘special measures’.

An inspection which took place in August this year but was published last week rated Lennox House Care Home, in Durham Road, Finsbury Park, as still “requiring improvement”, a step-up from the “inadequate” rating given in May.

The May report by the Clinical Quality Commission (CQC) highlighted how the 87 residents at the home managed by private health giant Care UK faced “significant errors” in the handling of their medication and were not stimulated with regular activities.

The report also noted how there was no record of a patient’s feeding tube being cleaned for seven days – something which must be done every day.

Back in May, residents who spoke to the Tribune slammed the treatment their loved ones were receiving in the home.

The latest report said: “At this inspection we found there were still ongoing staffing issues but the service was in the process of addressing this.

“We spoke with the deputy manager, who confirmed that the service was currently short-staffed with vacancies for five nurses and six care workers. These vacancies were currently covered by agency staff. At this inspection, there were four agency staff nurses covering shifts across the service.”

In August, the inspectors found one resident was being given medication from a clinical trial covertly in their food without consent having been sought from the resident or the family.

But improvements at the home were also highlighted in the latest report, including the handling of medicine, residents’ safety and their religious and cultural needs being met.

The home has an interim manager and is being temporarily supported by staff from Islington Council. It had still to recruit a permanent registered manager, who has a legal responsibility to ensure the service is run lawfully and manages the day-to-day running of a residential care home.

Care UK’s spokeswoman said: “Since the inspection in January, we have made a number of improvements, including recruiting more permanent staff, improving catering and the range of activities, and more accurate record-keeping. As the inspectors point out in their November report, there is plenty of evidence that these changes have had a positive impact.

“The CQC has always made it clear that they want to see improvements sustained over time before they can give us the good rating we all want to see.

“We accept we still have areas to address, but the latest report shows we are moving in the right direction. I want to assure residents and their friends and relatives that we are committed to maintaining and building on the improvements we’ve made.”

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