Hitchin care home warned after inspectors criticise standards

The care home was visited by the CQC and has had enforcement action taken against them due to poor c

The care home was visited by the CQC and has had enforcement action taken against them due to poor care - Credit: Archant

A care home which serves the needs of people suffering from learning and physical disabilities has come under fire from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Ashwood Place in Hitchin was visited by inspectors from the CQC, who found that staff at the Sunnyside Close care home were failing to record and administer medicines in accordance with the prescriber’s instructions.

The care quality watchdog has now taken enforcement action against the facility – in the form of a warning – to protect the health, safety and welfare of the eight people using the services.

If not heeded, the care home could have its service suspended or be closed down.

During two visits last year, inspectors raised concerns about patients’ susceptibility to bed sores – also known as pressure ulcers – not being assessed.

A report published last month by the CQC said: “The acting manager, and staff members confirmed they did not regularly provide or record reposition of a person who was totally dependent on staff for changing their position. This meant that staff did not have instructions on how to protect people from the risk of developing a pressure ulcer. Inspectors were told that all people who lived at Ashwood Place were dependent on staff for transferring or changing position in bed.”

The report also highlighted that four staff members were not able to accurately identify all the people potentially at risk of developing a pressure ulcer and that one deemed by the CQC to be at high risk was identified as low risk.

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Inspectors also found that staff had not received training on how to prevent a person from developing a pressure ulcer.

Stewart Wallace, group strategy and care director for Ashwood Place, said: “We acknowledge our deficits of administration and have no quarrel with the CQC about this.

“Ashwood has never had a complaint about quality of care. The service has never had any resident suffering from a pressure sore that developed in the service. We don’t fully agree with the inspectors comments on the technical aspects of our pressure relieving mattress for one person, but this is a highly technical interpretation and the mattresses were manifestly doing the job effectively by reducing the risk of pressure sores.

“We take these warnings very seriously and a team of our quality professionals has fully reviewed the service, helping the care team with further training and implementing new administrative systems. We have also provided additional training and ongoing support.”