Banbury care home 'requires improvement' after whistleblower concerns

A Banbury area care home has been told to make improvements after concerns were raised about poor care.

By Roseanne Edwards
Monday, 1st August 2022, 3:44 pm
Fairholme House, which has received rating of Requires Improvement after an inspection was undertaken because of concerns raised with the Care Quality Commission
Fairholme House, which has received rating of Requires Improvement after an inspection was undertaken because of concerns raised with the Care Quality Commission

Fairholme House in Church Street, Bodicote is a residential care home providing personal and nursing care to up to 22 older people, some with dementia.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) sent in two inspectors and an expert following receipt of concerns about poor care in various areas of the service. At the time of the inspection on May 31 there were 16 residents, some of whom were not able to talk to the CQC staff.

The inspectors’ report said: “We received concerns in relation to staffing, recruitment, training, medicines management, records, activities, quality of care and management of the home. As a result, we undertook a focused inspection to review the key questions of safe, effective, responsive and well-led only.

“We found people's medicines were not always managed safely due to poor stock control, a lack of guidance and staff competency assessment.

People were not always safe from the risk of fire due to a lack of staff training and knowledge and risk assessments not being in date. The provider's maintenance and monitoring systems were not always updated to maintain people's environmental safety.

“The provider had no clear process of managing accidents and incidents and as such there were no lessons learnt. We found people's records were not always up to date and some of them had conflicting information.

“New staff received induction and training, however, the content could be improved. We have made a recommendation about staff induction.”

The inspectors found there was a longstanding registered manager in post who had recently withdrawn their resignation following the departure of a newly recruited deputy manager.

"The provider told us they were in the process of restructuring the management team to ensure effective oversight of the home. Audits of care and safety were not always completed consistently and had not identified the shortfalls we found,” they said.

“The provider did not have a formal system of regular engagement with people and relatives or of obtaining feedback on care; they relied on their open-door policy. This meant there was a missed opportunity to improve care based on people's feedback,” said the report.

“Staff knew how to identify and report any concerns. People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests; the policies and systems in the service supported this practice. Staff had a particularly good understanding of when the principles of the Mental Capacity Act should be applied.

"People were supported to meet their nutritional needs and complimented the food at the home. People and relatives told us staff were caring. Staff did all they could to promote people's independence and we saw examples of this.

"We will request an action plan to understand what they will do to improve quality and safety. We will work alongside the provider and local authority to monitor progress. We will continue to monitor information we receive about the service. We will take further action if needed.”

The previous inspection took place in 2018 when the home was a given a ‘good’ rating. Fairholme House is run by Oxford Care Homes Limited. To see the full report see here.