Privately run care homes which fail to provide an acceptable level of care will be held to account, Northern Ireland’s Chief Social Worker has made clear.
Sean Holland was commenting after two independent assessments confirmed important improvements had been implemented at Dunmurry Manor since significant concerns were raised.
Both reports relating to Dunmurry Manor were commissioned by the Department of Health (DoH) - one assessed the home’s current standards of care; while the other focused on actions taken by Health and Social Care (HSC) Trusts and the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) in response to problems.
Significant concerns had been raised on critical issues at the home including the safeguarding of residents, care and treatment, management of medicines, the quality of personal care provided by the home and staffing difficulties.
These problems are also due to be addressed in a forthcoming report by the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland (COPNI).
The Department is today publishing findings from both independent assessments to give assurance to current residents and their families that concerns have been taken seriously and to help provide a full context for COPNI’s work.
CPEA - a social care, health and management consultancy – conducted a “rapid safeguarding review” to scrutinise concerns raised about care at Dunmurry Manor and the HSC’s response to them.
As part of this process, the DoH is today publishing an interim CPEA report to provide independent professional evaluation and assurance on Dunmurry Manor’s present day standards of care and support.
CPEA’s report, produced following a two-day review of the home, states: “During the visits Dunmurry was assessed as being a safe place for people to live quality lives.”
This is in keeping with RQIA’s most recent findings from its inspections of the home.
The Care Inspectorate - the official scrutiny body for Scotland’s health and social care system – examined the appropriateness of the RQIA’s role in regulating Dunmurry Manor, and RQIA’s response when issues arose.
Its report states: “This review found that RQIA had promoted good practice, encouraged improvements and took action to protect people using the service when poor practice was identified.”
Sean Holland, the Department’s Chief Social Worker, today said: “I recognise the concerns of residents and their families when care falls short; it is vital that effective action is taken to deliver improvements and put things right.
“The primary responsibility for providing safe and satisfactory care in such homes rests with the operators. However, when problems are identified, residents and their families need to know that Trusts and the RQIA will intervene.
“Care providers will continue to be held to account, for instance through enforcement action as happened in this case. They will also be supported in addressing problems and making necessary improvements.
“There are always lessons to be learned in health and social care, we are always working to improve our systems; and I trust the COPNI report will help us in that regard with Dunmurry Manor.
“It is also important to assure residents, their families and the general public on the improvements in the home and the important work done by Trusts and the RQIA to help bring this about.”
The two reports are available at: https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/publications/reports-dunmurry-manor-care-home
Picture (c) Google Maps.