CQC places ‘inadequate’ Brighton care home in special measures

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated The Highviews, a residential care home in Brighton inadequate and placed it into special measures to protect people, following an inspection in March.

This inspection was prompted in part due to concerns received about staffing, risk management and care planning.

Managed by Jiva Healthcare Limited, the service, provides personal care and support to autistic people and people with a learning disability, mental health conditions, physical disabilities, sensory impairment, dementia, older people and younger adults. At the time of the inspection there were six people using the service.

Following the inspection, the overall rating dropped from good to inadequate, as well as for how safe and well-led it was. The ratings for how effective, caring and responsive the service is has dropped from good to requires improvement.

The service has now been placed in special measures and the CQC has issued three warning notices to focus The Highviews’ attention on making rapid and widespread improvements in how they are managing safe care and treatment, governance, and staffing.

Rebecca Bauers, CQC’s Director for People with a Learning Disability and Autistic People, said: ‘The Highviews had been taken over recently by Jiva Healthcare Limited and at the time of our inspection a new manager had been in post for nine days. The new leadership team have a significant amount of work to do to rapidly address the culture and management issues, to improve the lives of people who call The Highviews, home.

‘We found a culture which wasn’t dignified and didn’t support autistic people and people with a learning disability with the choices, dignity, independence and good access to a full life in the community that most people take for granted.

‘People told us they could only shower on specific days, and that they spent most of their time by themselves doing puzzles or watching TV. One person told us they missed their friends as they were no longer able to visit them without staff support, which wasn’t available. Behind these issues was a lack of suitable staff which the new management must address as a matter of priority as this is unacceptable.

‘We found these staffing issues as well as a lack of good management also meant that people were unsafe and at risk of avoidable harm. We saw one person at risk of choking was left alone unobserved at lunchtime, and there were incidences of people with respiratory needs on oxygen therapy with no records or care plan detailing how staff should watch their oxygen levels or recognise and escalate concerns.

‘We also had serious concerns about the safety of the environment. The fire risk posed by oxygen tanks hadn’t been identified or assessed, there was a damaged electrical socket in someone’s bedroom, and inspectors found an electric bulb held in place with tape.

‘However, staff were kind and caring, and clearly knew people well.

‘The provider has submitted an action plan and we will keep The Highviews under close review to make sure it is implemented. We won’t hesitate to take further action to keep people safe if we don’t see rapid and widespread improvements being made.’

Inspectors found:

  • Systems for managing medicines were not consistently safe, not all staff were trained and assessed as competent to administer medicines
  • There was no end of life care plans in place
  • The outside space was unfinished and not accessible for people with wheelchairs
  • Wheelchair users had not received assessments for areas where they may be vulnerable to pressure sores
  • Risk assessments were not available to staff, meaning that they didn’t know how to protect people from avoidable harm
  • Care plans didn’t provide staff with guidance on how to support people who were experiencing distress or communicating an emotional reaction or need.

Image: Shutterstock


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