Stockport care home where people’s safety was ‘not always assured’ ordered to improve for second time

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The watchdog has rated Hilltop Hall Nursing Home as requiring improvement over concerns residents’ safety could not always be guaranteed.

A care home has been ordered to improve for the second time after an inspection found residents’ safety was ‘not always assured’.

Hilltop Hall Nursing Home, in Stockport, has again been rated as ‘requires improvement’ by care watchdog the CQC following an inspection focusing on how ‘well led’ and ‘responsive’ the service is.

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Based at Dodge Hill, in Heaton Norris, the home provides personal and nursing care to up to 54 older people.

During a visit in May, inspectors found that residents were ‘supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives’, with ‘kind’ staff helping them in the ‘least restrictive way possible and in their best interests’.

However, a new report says that it has not made enough progress since the previous inspection – carried out in February last year – and remains in breach of two care regulations.

What did the CQC say about its latest inspection?

Officials found that the manager had ‘not always ensured the safety of people around the home’, and had ‘concerns with staff practice and the environment.

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The report adds:“We observed people being transported around the home in wheelchairs without wearing a safety belt. We found radiators were not always covered to prevent the risk of burns, and access to areas such as the sluice, kitchenette and cleaning cupboard was not secured.

“Staff had not ensured several tubs of thickening agent had been secured away. This placed people at risk of harm of the accidental swallowing of thickener.”Inspectors also saw areas around the home in need of refurbishment and repair – one example being a leaking roof that was causing a tiled floor to become wet.

While the manager carried out a series of ‘audits, checks and daily walkarounds’ officials noted that not all risks were identified – and those that were had not always been addressed and rectified.

And the responsiveness of the home was still said to require improvement – meaning people’s needs were not always met.

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For example, one person receiving end of life care, had information in their care plan for their environment to be as pleasant and quiet as possible.

But inspectors found their door wide open and their television on playing a music station. They also also discovered their records for nutrition and hydration intake were not always completed.

Care plans did not appear to have been drawn up with residents or their loved ones – and there was ‘little detail about people’s personal history, cultural needs, individual preferences and how they would want to have their care provided’.

“There was not enough available information on people’s preferences for new or agency staff to deliver care in a person-centred way,” the report adds.

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What did the report say that was more positive?

However, on the plus side, staff were all complimentary about the manager and told officials the management team were approachable and helpful.

They also reported that the home manager encouraged training and they had regular supervision.

The CQC also had positive feedback from residents about the ‘kind’ staff. “They do little special things for me, they ask if I need anything,” one person told inspectors. “I wouldn’t want to move from here as the staff are so good.

The report also acknowledges that the home – run by Harbour Healthcare Ltd – ‘was transparent and responsive throughout the inspection and took action to attempt to mitigate the risks we identified’.

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The manager spoke about their aspirations for the home, including more trips out for people and improving the décor.

They had also introduced more options and menus after becoming concerned about people’s weight, and introduced snacks and fresh fruit every day.

What will happen now following the report’s publication?

The CQC will request and action plan from the home to demonstrate how it will improve the standards of quality and safety.

The watchdog says it will also work alongside the home and the local authority to monitor progress.

Harbour Healthcare has been contacted for comment.

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