Inspectors rule Fornham care home must improve

Fornham House Residential Home Forham St Martin.

Picture Mark Westley ANL-160330-173356009

Fornham House Residential Home Forham St Martin. Picture Mark Westley ANL-160330-173356009

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A care home has been told it requires improvement after aspects of its service were deemed to be inadequate.

In a report published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Fornham House Residential House in Fornham St Martin was found to lack enough staff to properly care for its residents, many of whom have dementia. This led to difficulties for staff, a number of whom were new or from agencies, meeting the individual needs of residents and meant medicines were not always managed safely.

Inspectors from the CQC paid an unannounced visit to the home, which can accommodate up to 73 people, on December 21 last year. They looked at how effective, caring, responsive and well-led the service provided by the home was and ruled it requires improvement in all these areas.

The home was also found to be operating ‘inadequately’ in terms of providing a safe service.

“People who used the service, their relatives and staff told us that they did not feel the staffing levels were sufficient to meet people’s needs and this was our observation,” said the report.

Inspectors were told by one staff member that they would not be happy to place a relative at the home due to staffing concerns and staff did not normally finish washing residents until 1pm.

Although records for the administration of medication were mostly accurate and complete, with procedures and protocols in place, the CQC was notified of three errors straight after its inspection.

“These concerned giving additional medicines to one person, not giving another person their diabetes medicine on eight occasions, and confusion about the application of a person’s morphine patch,” said the report.

The large layout of the building also contributed to issues regarding a visible staff presence, with one resident telling inspectors they “could not attract anyone and felt alone in the world”.

A spokeswoman for Fornham House Residential Home, which charges between £650 to £1,000 for weekly personal care for residents, said it was disappointed with the outcome of the CQC inspection.

“The safety and welfare of our residents is our utmost priority at all times and the staff are committed to providing good quality care,” she said.

“In the three months since the inspection, we have implemented a robust improvement plan to ensure full compliance. A new home manager is in post and significant progress has, and continues, to be made.”