The CQC rating of a Bristol care home dropped from ‘good’ to ‘requires improvement’ after inspectors found carers were ‘run ragged’ and there was ‘increased risk people could come to harm’ due to low staffing levels.
The inspection, carried out by three inspectors from the region’s Care Quality Commission at Bamfield Lodge Care Home on November 3, found that staff were ‘stretched’ while looking after the home’s 53 residents.
Inspectors were told by residents that the staff were ‘friendly and helpful’ but that on most days there were ‘only three staff’ available and that carers were ‘run ragged’ with ‘the bells ringing constantly’.
A staff member also told inspectors they often left shifts feeling ‘deflated, almost like I have failed the residents’.
Barchester Healthcare, which operate the Whitchurch care home, say that recruiting additional staff is a ‘key priority’ and that the firm was ‘working hard’ to get the best possible team on board.
But inspectors concluded they ‘could not be satisfied people were always cared for by enough staff and there was a potential risk for people to come to harm’.
“The inspection was prompted due to consistent concerns we received about staffing levels in the home,” the report read.
“In addition, there were common themes about how this had an impact on the care people received including the safety and quality.
“We have found evidence that the provider needs to make improvements.”
Despite improvement being needed, inspectors discovered many positives during their visit, with residents telling them that Covid restrictions had been ‘dealt with stringently’ and that they could ‘always ask for help if they needed it’.
The care home was also found to be a ‘well equipped, comfortable, homely and clean’ place where residents ‘felt safe’.
A spokesperson for Barchester Healthcare said: “We take the findings of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) very seriously and while we recognise the numerous good aspects noted by the inspectors, we are focused on addressing the issues identified.
“Additional support is in place, with a Senior General Manager and Deputy Manager working alongside the team on all units to ensure a person centred approach to all aspects of care.
“Recruitment of additional staff is the key priority for the home, and we are working hard to recruit the best team.
“We are close to appointing a new General Manager and we are deploying additional carers hours to further enhance the care of our residents.
“ We are keeping residents and relatives updated, with monthly resident meetings taking place, to ensure they are fully involved in the day to day running and decisions about their home and there is a relatives meeting planned for next week.
“The team at the home is totally focused on the delivery of the highest quality of care.”
You can read the full report by the CQC here.