Staff at a care home that put residents ‘at risk’ told CQC inspectors they weren’t going to ‘lie and cover up anymore’, according to the Care and Quality Commission.
The enforcement action on March 15 saw families shocked at the short notice given for their loved ones to find alternative accommodation.
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But inspectors said they had ‘no choice’ after an unannounced inspection on March 12 confirmed concerns from West Sussex County Council, with issues including an ‘unwitnessed fracture’ and bruising that had not been recorded or investigated.
Debbie Ivanova, CQC’s deputy chief inspector of adult social care, said: “The standard of care that we found on our inspection left us in no doubt that people living at Royal Bay Residential Home were in danger of injury if we did not act quickly to protect them.
“People were being exposed to immediate risk of serious harm because of poor manual handling practice.
“In the circumstances we had no choice but to take urgent action, while at the same time working with partners from the local authority and the NHS to keep people safe.
“It is a testament to their concern that West Sussex County Council pre-empted us to ensure people were safe by beginning to remove residents before we took our enforcement action.
“People did need to move from the service and we expected the local authority to do this in a planned, measured and timely way.
“Everyone has the right to consistent, high-quality care and we will take whatever action we need to ensure that this happens.”
At its last inspection in June 2018, Royal Bay Residential Home had been rated as Requires Improvement overall.
The CQC stated: “Staff did not always follow moving and handling best practice techniques, which placed people at risk of harm. Staff described how people had been moved unsafely and inspectors also observed this.
“One staff member described to inspectors that a person who had recently sustained an unwitnessed fracture also had unexplained ‘bruising under both arms’. The persons records did not record this observation by staff.
“The manager also confirmed that no investigation had been carried out to establish how the bruising had occurred.
“The manager told inspectors that 11 people were at risk of falling and that ten of the 11 people had not been referred for professional advice so the risks could be managed safely.
“The provider did not have oversight to safely manage these risks or to respond to them without delay.
“One person had been referred to the falls prevention team but only when had significant injury had happened after a fall.
“There was a negative culture among the staff, the management and the provider.
“The manager told inspectors, “I’m not going to lie and cover up anymore. I think the falls [are of concern]. Social services want it recorded and it never is.”
“Staff told inspectors that leadership and management was very poor, and that fairness, transparency and openness was not encouraged or promoted.
“There was a culture of blame and bullying amongst some of the staff and a lack of trust or faith in the management and provider to take the right action to protect people from harm or abuse.”