Care home told to address key issues

The Royal Hampton in Ponteland has been given a requires improvement rating by the Care Quality Commission.
The Royal Hampton in Ponteland has been given a requires improvement rating by the Care Quality Commission.

Despite it being described as a luxury assisted living development when it opened last year, a facility in Ponteland has been given a requires improvement rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The organisation has unveiled its report for the Royal Hampton on the former auction mart site in Meadowfield, operated by Crown Care, after an inspection that took place on three different days last September.

Although most of the residents the inspectors spoke to said they felt safe living at the home, a range of issues were raised in areas such as the management of the home, staffing levels and the recording of some people’s care and treatment.

Some conditions were imposed on the provider’s registration and the CQC referred all of its concerns about the service to the local authority and Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group.

The company says Royal Hampton now has an ‘excellent new management team in place’ and it has been able to ‘demonstrate adherence to all regulatory compliance requirements’.

The CQC report included the following: ‘We identified issues with staff deployment and their skill mix and found there were insufficient suitably qualified, competent, skilled and experienced staff to meet people’s needs. There was a high use of agency staff.

‘An effective system was not in place to monitor the quality and safety of the service.

‘We noted that preadmission assessments were not always carried out prior to people moving into the home.

‘Staff told us that morale was very low, which most staff informed us was due to the management of the service.

‘There were gaps and omissions relating to medicines management, including the recording of controlled drugs.’

A spokesman for Crown Care said: “Our senior managers had already identified all of the issues ahead of the unannounced inspection and were taking the appropriate steps to deal with them.

“Since the inspection in September, we have an excellent new management team in place at Royal Hampton and have been able to demonstrate adherence to all regulatory compliance requirements to satisfactorily maintain the trust and support of the CQC and local inspection agencies.

“We are very proud of the Royal Hampton, where we provide the highest standards of personalised individual care in a beautiful setting.

“It is a well organised, well managed, dedicated care facility, where our residents and their relatives continue to be very supportive.”