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Isles of Scilly care home 'is good but can improve'

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 26, 2012

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The only care home on the Isles of Scilly has been ordered to make improvements after a surprise inspection.

Independent watchdogs the Care Quality Commission (CQC), visited Park House on the island of St Mary's.

While they said that, overall, the standards at the council-owned home were good and people were treated with care and respect, improvements could be made.

The report said inspectors spoke to six people, although not all were able to give their views because of illness.

It said two were very complimentary: "One person who used the service told us 'the staff are very good and always very polite and kind to me'.

"Another person said 'it is paradise here and I am very lucky to be here as everything is top class'."

It added that interactions between staff and people who lived at Park House were conducted in a polite, friendly and respectful manner.

"The atmosphere in the home was warm and homely," it said.

However, the inspectors identified issues which they said needed to be addressed.

"People did not consistently experience support that met their needs as there were limited activities available in the home, particularly for people who required dementia care.

"The care and treatment provided to people met their needs, but staff did not receive full guidance or instruction in people's own care plans."

The inspectors said staff were not provided with sufficient training, policies or procedures to ensure that people who used the services were protected from abuse.

Records were also not available to demonstrate that an effective recruitment procedure was in place to ensure that people's needs were met safely by appropriate staff.

The chairman of community services at the Council of the Isles of Scilly, Richard McCarthy, said it was good to hear the positive comments from residents.

"This sort of feedback is a joy to hear and I'm glad that residents feel well looked after. Staff generally do an excellent job of maintaining a happy and homely atmosphere."

He said improvement plans, such as more activities for people suffering from dementia, were being put together.

Penny Penn-Howard, director of community services, said that during the CQC's unannounced visit, HR records were not available because the manager was on holiday and some documents were under lock and key.

"We feel confident that the HR records are in good order as this has been a focus for all departments recently," she said.

"This report clearly shows a need for improvement and I am glad to see that steps are being taken to address areas of weakness," said Mr McCarthy.

"However it does need to be stressed, as the CQC inspectors do, that the fundamentals of what the council provides at Park House are truly appreciated by the residents."

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