CQC investigating Harrogate care home for unsafe staffing and care levels

The Pines Care Home in Harrogate - Google Maps
The Pines Care Home in Harrogate - Google Maps

A Harrogate care home has been rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ after a CQC inspection ruled residents were at risk of receiving unsafe or inappropriate care.

The Pines Care Home on Harlow Moor Drive was inspected by officers from the CQC on September 22 after two initial inspections in January and February.

The initial inspection found breaches of legal requirements in relation to care and welfare, staffing levels, staff training, and quality monitoring.

However, inspectors found that previous identified breaches had not been met and sufficient action had not been taken by the provider to improve the service.

Inconsistent staffing levels, over-worked employees, a reliance on agency staff and high levels of staff on sick leave contributed to inspectors rating the care home as unsafe.

The report, published on December 23, said: “The provider had increased staffing levels. However there was not enough staff on duty to meet people’s needs in a timely way.

“Staff were kept busy for the duration of our visit and had limited time to spend with people who used the service.

“Staff said it was difficult to complete their work and one staff member told us, “We spend too much time on cleaning and rushing about.”

“Records showed that another member of staff who had left in May 2015 stated their reason for leaving was because they felt unable to complete the tasks asked of them to their satisfaction.”

During the inspectors visit, four members of care staff had taken sick leave over the previous seven days and a total of 106 hours of sick leave had been taken from September 3 to September 29.

As a result of the staffing problems, inspectors deemed that the care needs of the residents were not being met effectively by staff who were not always visible and available for assistance.

“An example of this was when we heard a person call out from their bedroom on the second floor in the afternoon. When we entered the person’s room we found that they were slumped over in their chair,” the report said.

“Because the call bell within the person’s reach was not working we had to contact a member of staff to ask for assistance. This meant that people were left with no support for long periods.”

Inspectors also criticised the service for care staff lacking necessary knowledge and skills to provide effective care with only 30 per cent receiving dementia awareness training.

The inspector said: “We found evidence to show that staff were not sufficiently skilled and knowledgeable to meet people’s care needs effectively.

“While the new manager had plans in place to deal with training issues we found that staff were not receiving adequate training and supervision to enable them to fulfil their roles effectively.”

Staff had failed to provide care for people in line with their care plan and did not always follow expert advice and guidance when it was given.

As a result, the report concluded by stating people were ‘at risk of receiving unsafe or inappropriate care’ because care was ‘not always planned and delivered safely’.

The CQC will now consider the ‘appropriate response’ to resolve the problems found.

The Pines Care Home declined to comment when approached by the Advertiser.