Bermondsey care home “requires improvement” with inspectors concerned over how medicines are given

A Bermondsey care home “requires improvement” after inspectors found a patient had been given opiate medicine even though they drank alcohol every day.

The report, published on October 4, found that Aspinden Care Home’s “failure to safely manage medicines placed people at risk of harm”.

The report said that some people were prescribed medicines to be taken ‘as required’ meaning patients take them when they think they need them, rather than in prescribed doses. An example might be when a patient is in pain.

However, in these instances, inspectors found that the protocols around this were not “robust” enough, meaning “medicines were not always managed safely”.

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The CQC report said: “At the last inspection we identified some people were prescribed medicines to be taken ‘as required’ (PRN) for specific needs and conditions but there were no protocols in place. The provider had introduced these PRN protocols, but they were still not robust.

“For example, one person was using an opiate medicine as a PRN four times a day. This medicine was also not meant to be taken with alcohol and this person was drinking every day.”

The inspection concluded that, as a result, patients ran “the risk of receiving unsafe care”.

The report also found that “risk assessments were not robust and were not updated when people’s needs changed”.

It said it found three people using walking aids, and one wheelchair, which all needed repair and that a clinical lead nurse said there was no formal process to ensure the safety of such equipment.

The report alleged that one person had a seizure, but they had not had their seizure risk assessment updated after the incident.

Inspectors found that accidents and incidents were analysed but “actions were not always completed following incidents”.

The report also said that the provider’s governance and auditing systems did not always identify issues with the quality of the service.

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It said this meant appropriate action had not been taken to ensure people received good quality care.

The report did however find that people were “happy living at the home” and that staff understood the need “to safeguard people from the risk of abuse”.

Aspinden Care Home is a residential care home providing personal and nursing care to 26 people.

Equinox Care, which runs Aspinden Care Home, said: “Aspinden Care Home welcomes CQC inspections as they provide us with an external view of our service.

“I am pleased to say although the inspection has put the service as needing improvement in some areas, the inspection found our staff really do care and are making a positive difference to our residents’ lives.

“We report back to CQC on the improvements we’ve made monthly and since this recent inspection, we have already acted on their recommendations. We have undertaken a full audit on medication, retrained staff and brought in a new service manager.”

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