Harrogate care home told ‘Don’t call people love’

NADV 1509076AM Brackenley Care Home. (1509076AM)
NADV 1509076AM Brackenley Care Home. (1509076AM)

A Harrogate care home has been told to make improvements after inspectors heard staff calling residents ‘love’.

Harrogate Skills 4 Living Centre’s home, Brackenly, cares for up to 13 adults with learning disabilities.

CQC inspectors have said the home on Forest Lane Head needs to improve its caring after inspectors heard staff calling residents terms of endearment such as sweetie, darling, handsome and love.

Inspectors said: “The language was meant to be friendly it could be regarded as demeaning and patronising.”

The chief executive of Harrogate Skills 4 Living, Stephanie Kirkman Meikle said she had raised questions over this with the CQC.

She said: “We always discuss these things with residents and it is in their care plans, we would never call someone something they don’t want.

“Some people have nicknames or terms of endearment they prefer and they use for the staff themselves. When you are living in a home away from your family I think it is positive at times to be called a term of enderment if it is something they are comfortable with.”

Inspectors recommended that that the service follow published guidelines about supporting people to be in charge of their decisions and have their dignity and privacy respected.

Mrs Kirkman Meikle said that a new manager took over after the inspection in March and that the home is now run as a not-for-profit enterprise, meaning money has been reinvested to improve care.

A care home managed by North Yorkshire County Council was also told it needs to improve its safety and effectiveness according to a newly published report.

Springfield Garth in Boroughbridge cares for 14 elderly people, though can accommodate up to 26 residents.

Staff shortages led to the inspectors marking the Care Home’s safety as requiring improvement and inspectors said: “We received a number of comments about staffing levels at the service from staff and from people who used the service.

“Staff felt that they were rushed at times and could not always spend the time they would like with people. Some people felt that staff were busy and said they had been told not to keep ringing the bell and that staff would come when they can.”

The CQC recommended that the care home should look at more staff training.

Inspectors added that despite the staff shortages the team worked together.

They report said: “We saw that the staff team had worked well together to minimise the effects of the reduced staffing levels to keeppeople safe.

“People told us they were well cared for and we observed staff were kind and patient throughout our visit.”