Our recommendations for ‘inadequate’ Dulwich Care Centre
Healthwatch Lambeth has produced four recommendations for Dulwich Care Centre after it was rated inadequate by the independent regulator of health and social care in England, the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The CQC rated the care home for older people in Streatham inadequate in November 2014. This echoed similar findings by Lambeth Council’s Care and Contract Management teams, and two anonymous pieces of feedback received by Healthwatch Lambeth. Read the CQC’s latest report on the the Dulwich Care Centre.
As part of the recovery plan, the care home organised four meetings in January 2015 for residents’ families and friends to discuss the inspection findings and hear about next steps. Healthwatch Lambeth attended these meetings to hear people’s experiences of the Centre’s services.
Based on what people told us, we were especially concerned by:
- the prolonged period of poor quality care delivered to residents
- the low number of formal complaints received by the Centre compared with the high volume of concerns we heard from friends and family.
At the relatives’ meetings, the new management team committed to address:
- staffing levels
- better management of care needs (including records management, incident reporting and information sharing)
- improved leadership.
We welcome these commitments and believe there is an appetite amongst all stakeholders to work together to turn the service around.
Healthwatch Lambeth has recommended a series of measures to establish stronger accountability processes for everyone – residents, friends, family and staff – to help ensure the delivery of a high quality service is maintained.
- Commit to measure the day-to-day wellbeing of residents. Staff and managers, residents, relatives and friends should agree together how to do this. The methods and results should be well communicated so that everyone has a common understanding about the process.
- Review and refresh the organisational complaints process to ensure it is fit for purpose. Create a reference group to look at all aspects including: who can complain, what can be complained about, how a complaint can be made, how it will be investigated, how and when a response will be made, and the appeals process. Launch the revised complaints process and ensure that all staff understand it.
- Provide more opportunities and methods for residents, relatives and friends to give feedback on an on-going basis, especially for relatives and friends that cannot attend face-to-face meetings. This should include information on Healthwatch services.
- Include residents’ and relatives’ feedback as a key performance indicator in contract and quality management and monitoring, including complaints information (not just a record of the number of complaints received).
For Dulwich Care Centre:
For local authorities: