Residents from one London care home
readying for closure were re-homed
in another care home rated
Inadequate.
The Healthy Communities scrutiny
sub-committee of Southwark Council
cited its “particular concern” at such
circumstances in a report
recommending the council runs its
own care homes in future.
Southwark Council’s cabinet will
consider the recommendation at a
meeting set for September.
The sub-committee was reporting on
its overall assessment of care
provision in the borough.
As evidence to the assessment the
Care Quality Commission (CQC)
presented the sub-committee with an
overview of the four care homes in
Southwark – two were rated as
Inadequate, one as Requiring
Improvement – and contrasted this
with the home rated Outstanding.
Lay Inspectors also commented on the
care homes.
These summaries were cited by the
sub-committee as “clearly
demonstrating” problems being faced
in some of the borough’s care homes.
The homes rated as Inadequate or
Requiring Improvement were
provided by HC One & Four Seasons.
Key issues identified were:
· People did not receive medicines
safely.
· Standards of cleanliness were
not maintained.
· People were at risk of infection.
· Staff were not always supported
effectively.
· People who lacked capacity were
not supported to have their needs
and choices met.
· People were not supported to
have food and drink in a timely
manner.
· The management team needed
strengthening and there was a
high turnover.
· Systems to monitor quality were
in place, but not used effectively.
The care home rated  Outstanding was
provided by Anchor.
Here the CQC found:
· People were treated with
kindness, respect and compassion.
· Staff knew people well.
· People were involved in
discussions about their care,
including end of life care.
· Staff were motivated and
supported.
· An pen culture – people and
staff could raise concerns.
· Sustained good leadership by
the care home manager.
· Staff retention.
In October last year it was announced
that Camberwell Green Care Home –
currently operated by HC One – would
be closing.
At the time of the announcement of
closure, there were 35 residents within
the home – three with a NHS fully-
funded place and 32 receiving NHS
Funded Nursing Care (FNC)
contributions of £112 per week paid to
residents in nursing beds.
The home has committed to staying
open until all the current residents
have been re-located.
But the announcement came at a time
when Southwark’s care homes were
already under a pressure with two in
special measures and rated
Inadequate.
Southwark Council has an embargo on
both homes and, though both are not
at capacity, they are recognised as
continuing to engage with “significant
challenges” and not in a position to
re-home residents from Camberwell
Green.
Though the sub-committee cited its
“particular concern” that Camberwell
Green residents were re-homed at
Tower Bridge despite its Inadequate
rating.
And Camberwell Green is
acknowledged as having its own issues
including a building that is not fit for
purpose and challenges with staff
retention.
Though a new manager and support
staff were recruited, the home did not
see the improvements needed, and
this resulted in its closure.
In its findings, the sub-committee
urged the council to make serious
consideration of establishing its own
care homes, citing the resources that
the Council is currently having to put
into our care homes, the broader
crisis in care homes and concerns over
the viability of providers in the long-
term.
The council is developing a 10-year
strategy for care homes due to be
published later this year.
Currently the council has a long term
block contract with Anchor Care
homes, who provide residential care
only for older people.
Residents requiring both nursing and
residential care are usually using the
services of providers HC One and Four
Seasons with care paid for through
spot purchasing.
In its report, the sub-committee said it
was “extremely concerned” by the
current provision for Southwark
residents receiving nursing care as a
component of residential care, and the
lack of a guarantee from both HC One
and Four Seasons that they will be
able to keep open the remaining care
homes in the borough.
This, the report says, presents a
“significant risk” to residents, who
may ultimately end up having to go
out of the borough.
While extra support offered to care
homes was welcome, the sub-
committee was again concerned about
the “huge number” of external
resources having to be brought in to
services which continue to remain
inadequate.
The Committee believed that there
may need to be a “much more radical
reassessment” of the way in which
care Home services are provided in
Southwark, seeing merit in assessing
whether the council should be looking
to provide its own buildings and care
home service which could be privately
contracted out.
This was cited as having worked well
with the Anchor Homes in Southwark
which provide retirement living
assisted and independent living
opportunities.

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