Inspectors: Care home is ‘not safe or well-led’

Ravensmount care home in Alnwick
Ravensmount care home in Alnwick

An Alnwick care home, which was already the subject of enforcement action following a previous scathing inspection, has been rated inadequate.

The independent regulator of health and social care in England, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), carried out an unannounced inspection at Ravensmount Residential Care Home, on Alnmouth Road, in January.

This inspection, whose report was released last Friday, was to follow up on concerns raised during an audit last August, which found breaches of three regulations relating to cleanliness and infection control, maintenance of the premises and quality monitoring.

However, while the latest report does acknowledge some improvements, it still gives Ravensmount an overall rating of inadequate, the lowest of the four ratings under the CQC’s new system.

This is broken down into five key areas to assess whether the provider is safe; effective; caring; responsive and well-led. In terms of being caring, Ravensmount was ranked as good.

‘People and their relatives told us they were happy with the care they received and were well supported by staff,’ the report says.

‘We observed staff supporting people appropriately and recognising them as individuals.’

In two further categories, the home requires improvement in that the service was ‘not always effective’ and ‘not always responsive’.

But the real concern lies in the fact that Ravensmount was rated inadequate for safety and being well-led.

The report read: ‘People told us they felt safe living at the home. Staff had knowledge of safeguarding issues and appropriate recruitment processes were in place.

‘We found there were continuing issues with the upkeep and safety of the premises and there was no evidence action had been taken to address issues raised at our previous inspection.

‘Not all vacant rooms were locked and window restrictors that did not meet national safety standards were in use.

‘The cleanliness of the home was much improved and the kitchen had recently been awarded a five-star rating by the environmental health inspector. There was increased domestic staffing hours.

‘However, we found there were not cleanliness or infection-control audits undertaken.’

It added: ‘The registered provider undertook monthly checks on the home. However, these were limited in detail.

‘There were no action points or timescales to determine if changes had been carried out appropriately.

‘Other audits were not always carried out, such as care-record audits, and there were no regular audits of infection control or cleanliness and some worn toilet seats had not been replaced.’

The report summary concluded that the inspection found six breaches of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010.

The Gazette contacted the care home to speak to ‘responsible individual’ David Ratliff, but had not heard from him by the time of going to press.