A £16million care facility on Wearside “requires improvement” in key areas just a couple of months after it was officially opened, according to a health watchdog.
Housing and care scheme Dovecote Meadow, in Ford Estate, was officially opened by council leader Coun Paul Watson in July, 13 months after its first residents moved in.
Now, a report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found that standards are not high enough in several areas, with staff not always giving residents their medication safely, records of accidents “not descriptive” and half of the site’s 56 staff found not to have undergone post-induction training in their roles.
Inspectors found that the service, run by Housing & Care 21, was not always safe, responsive or well-led, although it was found to be caring.
The service provides care and support to people living independently in 175 apartments, although there were just 83 being cared for at the time of the inspection.
Bosses today said they have taken the report’s findings “seriously” and have now put an action plan in place to improve standards.
“Medicines were not always administered safely” CQC REPORTCare Quality Commission report into Dovecote Meadow
Dovecote Meadow cares for those with dementia, learning and physical disabilities, sensory impairments and substance misuse problems.
Residents include those under and over the age of 65.
The inspection was carried out on July 13 and 14 after staff were given 24 hours’ notice of the visit.
The section of the CQC report detailing the safety aspect of Dovecote Meadow stated: “Medicines were not always administered safely.
“During the last 12 months the service had notified the CQC of 15 incidents involving medicines errors.
“These included medicines not being administered when prescribed, double doses of painkillers being administered and Medicines Administration Records (MARs) not being completed correctly.
“This had resulted in incorrect doses of a controlled drug being given.”
Although there were issues in four areas, the care section of the inspectors’ report contained no issues.
“People said they were treated with dignity and respect,” it stated.
“One person said staff were, “Always well-mannered.”
“They went on to describe staff as, “Really nice, very polite.”
The CQC said it has taken no formal action against Housing and Care 21 but will check that improvements are being made in the near future.
The first phases of the development, finished in 2013, saw 131 self-contained one and two-bedroom apartments created, as well as a community space including a restaurant, hairdressing salon, care shop, wellbeing suite and convenience store.
Work on the final phase, providing a further 44 apartments, including dementia specialist accommodation, was completed earlier this year.
A Housing & Care 21 spokesman said: “We take pride in delivering high quality care to our residents at Dovecote Meadow who require it, and are taking the findings of the CQC inspection very seriously.
“We have already put in place an action plan to address the issues raised, including a focus on tightening up procedures and practices around medication.”