A Brighton care home requires improvement, according to inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The official health and care watchdog said that Westwood Care Home, in Knoyle Road, Brighton, had failed to notify the CQC of deaths at the home even though required to by law.
Residents were not always treated with respect and dignity and some, who were unable to make decisions for themselves, were at risk of not being looked after within the law.
But residents said that they felt safe and there were sufficient staff to support them. And residents, relatives and staff were complimentary about the leadership and management of the home.
One member of staff told the CQC: “I’d recommend this home. It’s small so everyone gets attention. Any problems are easily dealt with. We work as a team and the boss is here every day.”
The home is run by Mohamed and Somaya Sadek. It is the only home that they run and was graded good for being responsive by the CQC.
But the inspectors said the when it came to being safe, effective, caring and well-led, the home requires improvement – the same rating that it was given overall.
“The home provides residential care for up to 29 people. At the time of the inspection 22 people were living at the home.
“The home is a large property, over three floors, situated in Brighton. There is a communal lounge and dining room and well-maintained gardens. The home is the sole location owned and run by Mr and Mrs Sadek.
“As part of this inspection we checked what action had been taken to address the breaches of legal requirements we had identified at our last inspection on (Tuesday) 24 March 2015.
“After our last inspection, the provider wrote to us to say what they would do to meet legal requirements and sent us an action plan detailing how they intended to ensure they met the requirements of the law.
“At this inspection we found improvements had been made and sustained and all the breaches previously identified were addressed.
“During this inspection we found risks to people’s safety had not always been assessed. Identified risks were not always followed by appropriate risk assessment and management plans. As a result, the provider was unable to ensure people received care that kept them safe.
“Staff had knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and were observed to be working in a way that enabled people to make their own choices and were delivering support to people in their preferred way. However, we found that the provider was not using the MCA to care for people who may lack the capacity to make their own decisions.
“The provider had not submitted Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) applications to the supervisory body, the local authority, that could lead to people being deprived of their liberty unlawfully.
“People’s respect and dignity was not always considered. They did not always receive care from staff that indicated respect for the person or acknowledged their needs.
“We observed a person’s bedroom where there was no curtain or blind cover to two small side windows of a dormer-type top floor window.
“The provider failed to notify us of deaths within the home. It is a legal requirement for these notifications to be received from the registered person.
“Although staff we spoke to told us they felt supported, records showed that, outside of the daily staff handover, regular staff meetings were not held.
“This meant opportunities that could be used to help share learning and best practice and ensure staff understood what was expected of them at all levels was not in place.
“People and their relatives were not given opportunities to participate in a survey or similar process to provide feedback on the quality of service. As a result, opportunities to influence and improve the quality and safety of the service were missed.
“People were protected from harm and abuse. They said they felt safe and there were sufficient staff to support them.
“One person told us: ‘If I want any help I ring my buzzer and they come at once. At night they put the bell near me so I feel safe.’
“Staff were knowledgeable and trained in safeguarding and what action they should take if they suspected abuse was taking place. Staff had received essential training.
“When staff were recruited, their employment history was checked and references obtained. Checks were also undertaken to ensure new staff were safe to work within the care sector.
“Medicines were managed safely and in accordance with current regulations and guidance. There were systems in place to ensure that medicines had been stored, administered, audited and reviewed appropriately.
“People were supported to eat and drink well. There was a choice in what people ate and drank. One person told us: ‘The food is good and we have a choice.’
“People’s weight was monitored, with their permission, to look for patterns of weight loss or gain.
“People’s health needs were assessed and met by staff who made referrals to external health care professionals when required. A health care professional told us: ‘People have access to all professionals.’
“‘When a person moves into the home, (the provider) will contact us if the need arises to ask advice if they want to know what additional support they need.’
“There were quality assurance processes in place to enable the registered person to have oversight of the home and to ensure that people were receiving the quality of service they had a right to expect.
“People, relatives and staff were complimentary about the leadership and management of the home.
“One member of staff told us: ‘I’d recommend this home. It’s small so everyone gets attention. Any problems are easily dealt with. We work as a team and the boss (the provider) is here every day.’”