Blyth care home The Oaks still 'requires improvement' after fresh CQC inspection

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have rated a Blyth care home for older people, some of whom have dementia or related conditions, as ‘requires improvement’ for the second time this year.
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The Oaks Care Home, on Durban Street, was inspected in February 2023 after concerns were raised about the management of medicines and people’s nursing care needs, and saw its CQC rating downgraded.

The 45-person capacity home, which currently has 26 residents, was inspected again in July to check if sufficient improvements had been made, but the regulator found more work needed to be done.

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The most recent report addressed how safe, effective, and well-led the home is, three of the CQC’s five key criteria, and found the service was still not always safe or well led.

The Oaks Care Home in Blyth is rated 'requires improvement'. (Photo by Google)The Oaks Care Home in Blyth is rated 'requires improvement'. (Photo by Google)
The Oaks Care Home in Blyth is rated 'requires improvement'. (Photo by Google)

Inspectors found care plans were not person-centred and strategies were not in place for when residents became distressed or anxious. They also found care plans and risk assessments needed to be more detailed.

They also noted that call bells in rooms were not always easy for residents to reach, but found improvements had been made since the last inspection to make other parts of the living environment safer.

Inspectors said in the report: “There had been difficulties employing a maintenance person and this had now been achieved.

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“There was a planned programme of refurbishment taking place around the home and new furniture had been provided for some areas to ensure people lived in comfort.”

Improved record keeping and communication with other healthcare professionals was also noted in the report, and staff were found to be effectively trained and well supported.

The report also praised camaraderie between staff at the home, but said: “A relative commented: ‘there is not enough staff or interaction.’ We discussed these comments with the registered manager who told us a dependency tool was used to calculate the number of staff required.

“However, throughout the day staff appeared busy, and did not have time to interact with people, except when they provided care.

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“We recommend the provider continues to keep staffing levels and staff deployment under review to ensure people receive safe, timely, and person-centred care.”

Inspectors also highlighted a bad smell in some of the care home’s carpets. The report said: “The registered manager told us carpets were to be replaced after rooms were decorated. However, more effective odour control was necessary in the meantime.“

A spokesperson for The Oaks said: “Since our last CQC inspection report, we have been working hard to address the issues raised by inspectors at that time, and we are pleased to see the latest report acknowledges the improvements that have been made, including a ‘good’ rating for effective.

“However, we recognise the inspectors’ findings on where further improvements are needed and are already taking action to address them.

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“We are working closely with the CQC and have submitted an updated action plan to ensure the expected standards of care.

“As always, our highest priority is providing a safe, comfortable, and caring environment for our residents.”

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