Fairlea in Northam given warning over standards of care

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The county council run care home is making improvements after surprise inspections by the CQC highlights several issues.

A CARE home in Northam run by Devon County Council has been told it will face enforcement action by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) unless it makes improvements to its standards of care.

Fairlea care home in Northam received the warning after an unannounced visit by CQC inspectors in December and January.

Inspectors found the home was failing to comply with regulations covering risk assessments and managements to protect the welfare of residents.

They also found the staffing arrangements did not ensure that residents’ needs would be met in a timely and safe way, and the impact from faulty equipment had not been properly monitored and managed and this had put people at risk.


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The CQC also said staff did not receive the supervision or support they should, and they day-to-day management of the home was not effective.

Ian Biggs, deputy director of CQC in the South said: “The law says that these are the standards that everyone should be able to expect.

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“Providers have a duty to ensure they are compliant and this cannot be allowed to continue.

“We note that the council has said that it will take action and our inspectors will keep Fairlea under review.

“We will return in the near future and if we find that this care home is not making the required progress we will consider further action to protect the people who use this service.”

Malcolm Vede, Devon County Council’s head of social care provision, said in response: “The care and safety of our residents is our primary concern.

“Although some residents and their families told inspectors that they value the care provided at Fairlea, CQC highlights issues that we’re taking very seriously.

“The complexity of some residents’ needs have increased since moving to Fairlea and the physical design of the building does make the caring role more time consuming.

“However we have brought in experienced management to carry through a range of improvements that address the inspectors’ concerns, including revised working arrangements and duty rotas for staff, greater levels of support and supervision, and closer monitoring of care including the installation of a new call system.”

The council said it is also reviewing residents’ care needs, and that some require more complex care which would be better met are more specialist homes.

Mr Vede said: “If through our assessments we see that an individual’s care needs have grown to a level beyond our registration remit at Fairlea, we’re discussing with them and their family a move to another home that can meet their needs more appropriately, such as a registered nursing home or one that provides specialist dementia care.

“We’re reassuring residents and their families that their individual needs and choices are being appropriately met, and that we’ll continue to listen and work with them in making any decisions.

“Ultimately it’ll come down to people’s care needs, their choices of other homes, and the availability of suitable homes that can meet their needs.

“These have to be decisions we take with our residents and their families, while of course being very careful to do this as sensitively as possible.”

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