Criticised care home puts its house in order
A care home told to improve after inspectors criticised poor standards of care and cleanliness is now meeting almost all of its targets.
A programme of activities, holidays and daily outings for residents are among the changes that have been made at Marston Court, in Northfields, Leicester.
A regime of regular checks for cleanliness in bedrooms and bathrooms has also been introduced.
The improvements were brought in after Care Quality Commission inspectors visited the home in January and found poor standards of care and residents living in filthy conditions.
In their latest report, inspectors said the home had taken appropriate action to bring up to scratch most of the areas in which it was previously failing.
Sue Shaw, the home's new manager, who has been in the post since August 1, said: "Some of the problems were down to a resident whom staff found difficulty in dealing with.
"There was also lack of management oversight and good, even monitoring.
"There has been lots of staff training, including a National Vocational Qualification in customer care, which increases awareness of how to treat residents."
The areas in which the home was found to now be meeting standards are: respecting and involving people who use its services, cleanliness and infection control and assessing and monitoring the quality of its services.
Inspectors said staff were "respectful and positive" towards residents, as well as patient, kind and considerate.
They said: "We spoke with staff who told us they had become more involved in planning activities with people and some people had already been on holiday.
"We saw that one person had requested a canal trip and that this had been arranged."
Inspectors said residents were now cared for in a "hygienic environment". They said: "We saw cleaning being undertaken throughout our visit.
"We saw evidence that staff were checking areas of the home for cleanliness throughout the day and night."
They also said an effective system was in place for monitoring the service provided at the home.
Inspectors said Marston Court was still not meeting requirements in one area – the process followed when making decisions about care for patients who cannot make such decisions themselves.
But they said that that point had "minor impact" on patients.
In their damning report earlier this year, inspectors said problems they had found included some staff who "seemed frustrated" on occasion with residents, staff having indiscreet conversations about patients and dried faeces being found on a bedroom floor, a hand rail and a resident's pillowcase.
Ms Shaw, who trained as a learning disability nurse and has worked as a Care Quality Commission inspector, said: "We have a new activity programme and every day there are trips out to places such as garden centres and the National Space Centre.
"We are also organising holidays for residents – two are on a cruise at the moment.
"A number of our residents have autism and we have bought a range of sensory stimulating toys and had a wheelchair swing installed.
"This is a real lesson in showing how good a home can be and about giving staff the confidence to do a really good job.
"There is no excuse for a bad home."
Changes also included the setting up of a four-bed respite unit which caters for up to 22 people with physical and learning disabilities and mental health problems.