Care home out of special measures but concerns remain

A Croxteth care home where a patient barricaded themselves in their room for fear of their own safety has been taken out of special measures.

Following a Care Quality Commission inspection (CQC) last year, Stonedale Lodge care home was deemed to be inadequate in its provision of care. As a result, the home was placed under intense scrutiny.

Now, months after the damning review, the CQC has confirmed progress has been made to take the north Liverpool site out of special measures. However, the care inspectorate said improvements were still required at Stonedale Lodge.

A fresh report into the home identified shortcomings were still present regarding the safety of its residents. This included some experiencing “significant” weight loss but no record as to whether this had been reported to their GP.

In addition, some concerns about the environment were still yet to be addressed. The report said, “There remained some broken furniture in people’s rooms and an open sluice room door on one unit, where people had dementia and were walking around. 

“This put people at risk of ingesting cleaning products. Also, one person had a large gap in their bed, between the bedrail and the bedframe, which was large enough for them to become entrapped.” Inspectors said one relative told them they felt their family members’ room “was a disgrace.”

Since the last inspection, the CQC said staffing levels had improved and areas were generally found to be clean and tidy. However accident and incident processes were inconsistent and reporting of incidents, risks, issues and concerns was not as effective as it should have been.

The report added, “People and staff were complimentary about the new manager and the deputy manager and knew them by name. Staff said they felt the morale was better across the units. The new manager and deputy manager were responsive during our inspection and took immediate and prompt action in response to some of the risks we found.”

Inspectors also highlighted a concern regarding potential overuse of medicines being used on an in the circumstances basis to manage emotional distress of residents. The findings said care plans did not include sufficient information to guide staff on how to avoid this.

In a statement responding to the report, a spokesperson for Advinia Care Homes Limited, who operates the care home, said, “The safety and wellbeing of our residents is our priority, and so we are pleased that the Care Quality Commission has seen significant improvements at the home since their inspection last year.

“While our dedicated staff, under new leadership, have made great progress in recent months we will always strive to improve the care we provide for the residents in our care. It was pleasing to see that the Inspection team rated the caring aspect of the home as ‘Good’ and we look forward to achieving this rating across the remaining inspection criteria in the months ahead.

“Stonedale Lodge looks after residents with high dependency and care needs. It is important that commissioners of care provide adequate funding for these additional needs for the home to continue to invest in the standards of care, which currently does not seem to be a priority with the commissioners.

“Additionally, it is no secret that the social care sector is in the grip of an acute funding crisis and our teams are doing their very best in these trying conditions. We would appeal to the government to urgently, and adequately, fund our essential sector so that all elderly people can receive the care they need and deserve.”


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