A Knaresborough care home has been told it must make improvements after an unannounced inspection.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found that the service at Thistle Hill Care Home ‘was not safe’ because there was not always enough staff to meet care needs well.
Inspectors witnessed one elderly resident wait 20 minutes for a member of staff to help them go to the toilet and said that people’s dignity was not always respected.
One resident told the inspectors: “Things aren’t good here. On my first evening I rang the buzzer for help to go to the toilet. No one came. I needed to go urgently and still no one came. I managed somehow to get to the toilet but fell before I relieved myself. I tried to get back to bed but had an accident.”
A relative visiting the home also described an incident where a member of staff had disconnected her father’s oxygen supply and could not reconnect it because they could not find the leads. The relative told the inspector “I am appalled. He needs to feel safe and I need to feel he’s safe too and we don’t.”
Concerns about staff-shortages and the reliance on agency staff have been highlighted in the inspection report which was published last month.
The CQC report said that at one point during its visit a staff member could not understand the inspector and residents complained that: “She is nice enough but her English is not good.”
The home, which is operated by Barchester Ltd has been told it needs to make improvements to make the home more safe, effective, responsive and well-led.
However they have been told that staff provide a good caring service.
Inspectors praised staff for their efforts to make patients smile keeping them engaged. The report said: “Staff communicated verbally, but also showed their care by taking a hand and touching or patting an arm.”
One resident told the inspector: “The best thing about this home is its staff,” another commented that the staff are always friendly and there is ‘always laughter’.
The inspector concluded that: “The staff’s smiles seemed easy and their sense of fun and humour natural and unforced.
“Staff interactions with people that we saw were characterised by warmth, care, compassion, informal spontaneity, fun, enthusiasm and generally upbeat.”
A spokeswoman for Thistle Hill said they had already addressed many of the issues raised.
She said: “Following the inspection of Thistle Hill in November 2014, we took immediate action and have already put in place a number of improvements to address the issues raised.
“We would like to reassure everyone of our commitment to provide the highest quality of care to those residing at Thistle Hill and to emphasise that their health and wellbeing is at the forefront of everything we do and are doing.”
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