Concern over staffing levels at care home where elderly residents at ‘increased risk’ of harm

Fears have been raised over staffing levels at a ‘dementia-friendly’ care home where residents are said to be at ‘increased risk’ of harm.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited Bruce Lodge, in Stockport, after families expressed concerns over falls at the purpose-built facility.

The watchdog has now ordered the home – run by Borough Care – to improve, after an inspection found it was ‘not always safe’ and there was ‘an increased risk that people could be harmed’.

READ MORE : Care home once hailed as ‘Stockport’s own NHS Nightingale’ told it must improve

The care provider says it is ‘disappointed’ with the findings but intends to ‘make every effort’ to do better.

Based in Turncroft Lane, Offerton, the Bruce Lodge was home to 39 people aged over 65 at the time of the inspection, but has recently been expanded.

A new report says that, while elderly residents feel safe, there were not always enough carers to ‘meet their needs quickly’.

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One person told officials how ‘staff come to help, but sometimes I have to wait for care’.

The report adds: “We observed that staff were very busy, not always able to respond to requests for assistance promptly, and people were left without staff support in communal areas for varying amounts of time.”

Officials also noted that feedback received during the inspection ‘confirmed’ there were not always enough carers on duty.

A care professional spoken to during the visit said staff were ‘always friendly’ and interacted well with residents, but were simply too few in number.

Bruce Lodge has been ordered to improve by the health and care watchdog.

And most care workers at the home expressed a similar view, with one telling the CQC, ‘it is difficult to have oversight; we need more staff’.

Borough Care told inspectors tplans were in place to recruit additional staff – but ‘the service was facing several challenges in this area.’

The CQC plans to review how this has been overcome, and whether people are supported by enough staff at the next inspection.

The report adds: “We recommend that the provider continue to review staffing levels robustly, considering a variety of factors, to ensure there are enough staff to meet people’s needs.”

Bruce Lodge was previously classed as good, but now has an overall rating of ‘requires improvement’.

This is in part due to the concerns around staffing, but inspections also noted that care records were not always ‘consistent and detailed’.

This was particularly in respect of medicines that residents ‘needed occasionally, or which were given covertly hidden in food or drink’.

Work was also ongoing to ensure lessons were learned from accidents, incidents and safeguarding concerns.

A spokesperson for Borough Care said: “Everyone at Borough Care is truly disappointed that our service at Bruce Lodge has unfortunately been rated as requiring improvement.

“We work hard to always provide the highest standards of care for all our residents, in all our homes, and the outcome of this focused inspection will only make us work harder to do so.

“It is clear that we need to do better, so we will make every effort to do just that.”

The care provider added: “We work closely with our partners at CQC and are in regular communication.

“We are already implementing changes to specifically address their findings, recommendations and areas for development.

“We look forward to their next visit to demonstrate the improvements we have made.”

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