If a care home is deemed to be providing inadequate care for its residents, it can be at risk of being greatly limited in the services it can provide – or even shut down. So, when one of our care home clients found themselves under review, it was crucial to implement new systems and build confidence in their management team, to avoid greater consequences for their residents.
What issue did the care home have?The Care Quality Commission (CQC) holds regular inspections of care homes to assess their compliance with regulation guidelines. This comprises of an audit into how the care home’s facilities are managed, communication between members of staff, safeguarding principles and ensuring that the correct procedures are being carried out in all aspects of the care they deliver. If a care home receives a CQC inspection report that rates it as ‘Inadequate’, this places it into Special Measures and requires immediate action to improve their service — or face the possibility of being closed down. This was the case for one care provider, after the CQC identified issues with:
- The level of staff training, including appropriate training checks with agency care workers
- Lack of evidence that competency assessments had been taken to ensure the safe delivery of care
- Insufficient Infection Prevention Control (IPC) measures
- Care plans were found to be generic and not tailored for residents with individual care requirements
How did Fulcrum Care help?As soon as Fulcrum Care was approached for help, we created an action plan that identified the key areas of improvement for the care home and the recommended solutions to where there had been failings. This was then presented to the CQC and local authorities with a comprehensive approach to what actions were being taken at the care home to remedy the issues, giving them assurances and the confidence that appropriate measures were coming into place under the guidance of a trusted, third-party social care consultant. When a care home is placed in Special Measures, managing a turnaround must be given attention and urgency to demonstrate that the necessary improvements are being made by the next CQC inspection. To help support these actions, one of our experienced social care consultants visited the care home two days a week, to work alongside their care workers as a dedicated member of the team. Our care consultant was then instrumental in helping to introduce and implement new systems and processes into the care home that promoted positive progress towards achieving a higher CQC rating. They also held regular reviews with both the care home provider and care home management team to create an aligned strategy and purpose, to demonstrate Good Governance and help strengthen the lines of communication between all levels of the care home staff. Finally, to solidify the new working relationship at the care home, we helped the care home provider identify and train a new care home manager who could take charge of the new approach and carry it on sustainably.
What were the results for the care home?After six months of working alongside a Fulcrum Care consultant, the CQC was satisfied that the care home was showing clear progress towards better management and quality of care, increasing their rating from ‘Inadequate’ to ‘Requires Improvement’. This meant that the care home was no longer being reviewed under Special Measures — or the threat of closure. With the help of our expertise in the social care sector, the care home provider was able to have new found confidence that their care home management team were on the right track for compliance, meeting the CQC’s Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs) and working closely together to reach their targets. This, in turn, meant that a better quality of care could be delivered for their residents.
Why should you consider care consultancy for your care home?Although you may have full trust and confidence in your care home management team, there are a whole host of benefits to having an experienced care consultant visit your care home. The CQC frequently updates its guidelines for compliance, so having an experienced care consultant to support your care staff can help ensure the best standards of care. This includes:
- Giving confidence to the regulators. Having third-party, experienced care consultants evaluating your audits assures the CQC and care home funders that their standards are being upheld
- Preventing care home closures. Immediate crisis management that brings new balance and stability for care homeowners, providers and managers
- Support for residents and care home staff. Evaluation of systems and training that bring positive changes for your team and their methods of delivering quality care
- Managing care home turnarounds. Helping your care home implement new systems that can improve your CQC rating
- Optimising recruitment and occupancy. Whether it’s improving your staff or occupancy retention, recruitment or more, we can help you optimise your messaging and approach (discover key tips in our free eBrochure, Recruitment and Occupancy: How to win the key battles for care homes in 2022)