A care home has been ordered to improve after an inspection found the use of medicines was not being recorded properly – despite a previous warning – while elderly residents were left ‘bored to tears’ due to a lack of activities.
Archmoor Care Home, in Middleton, has been given a ‘requires improvement’ rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following a visit from officials earlier this year.
The Sandy Lane establishment cater for up to 20 residents over the age of 65, including those with dementia.
But while the CQC found that staff were ‘kind and caring’ and there was a ‘calm and relaxed’ atmosphere at the home, their report raises significant concerns over safety and responsiveness.
It states: “Some aspects of the service were not always safe and there was limited assurance about safety. There was an increased risk that people could be harmed.”
At the last inspection, the home was found to be in breach of regulations relating to how medicines were recorded – and the report notes that this ‘continued to be unsafe’.
A case in point was the addition of thickeners to the food and drink of residents with swallowing difficulties, in order to prevent them from choking.
Inspectors found that ‘staff did not always record when the drinks with the prescribed thickener in, were given.
Adding: “It is important that this information is recorded to ensure that people are given their medicines consistently and as prescribed. We discussed the need for accurate recording of the prescribed thickeners with the manager and a new form was created during the inspection.”
The appliance of medical creams was also not being recorded properly – another problem that persists despite having previously been brought to the home’s attention.
The report states: “The previous inspection in April 2018 had recommended changing this system to ensure that the staff who administered the cream recorded their actions. This had not improved.”
There was also criticism that medicines for short-term conditions – such as nausea, indigestion and anxiety – were not being given ‘when required’.
The report states: “People were not offered medicines in a person-centred manner, at times when they were experiencing the symptoms. Medicines were offered at medicines rounds at times printed on the MAR (Medicines Administration Records) charts.”
And there were ‘significant concerns’ about the lack of things for residents to do and the impact this could have on their wellbeing.
One relative told the inspectors: “About three times a year, they get an entertainer in and a physiotherapist has been in twice to do armchair exercises but that’s about it. There’s no stimulation for dementia sufferers. It’s just not good enough.”
These comments were echoed by residents, one told CQC inspectors: “We’re all bored to tears, there’s nothing to do,” while another said: “There’s absolutely nothing to do. A friend of mine does activities at another home and they do all sorts, craftwork, baking and stuff. It would be
good if we had something to do.”
The home was found to be in breach of six regulations. Bosses have been told to produce a report outlining the action they are going to take to address the failings.
CQC Inspectors will check this is being adhered to at a later visit.
Archmoor Care Home has been approached for comment.
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