A CARE home in a village near York has been told by a watchdog that it must improve safety for residents.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has issued a critical report about St Catherine’s Care Home in Shipton by Beningbrough - which currently provides personal and nursing care to 37 people, some with dementia - following an unannounced inspection.

It said in a report that the inspection was organised after the commission ‘received concerns in relation to the management of people’s nutrition and hydration, safe moving and handling, staffing levels and support to people who exhibit distressed behaviour.’

The report said residents had received or were at risk of receiving poor quality and unsafe care.

“Their health and wellbeing were not always monitored to ensure action was taken if they required additional support, for example where they had not received enough to drink,” it said.

“Staff did not always follow the systems the provider had in place to protect people from avoidable harm, for example, the medicines management system.”

It said staff had not been trained in specialist areas to help them support people living with dementia who might become distressed.

“Staff intervened the majority of the time with kindness and compassion,” it said. “However, due to lack of knowledge and confidence they may at times of high anxiety be at risk of treating people in an unprofessional or ineffective way.”

We were unable to determine the reasons why people were or had not been administered ‘as and when required’ medicines. People took such medicines to prevent constipation, to relieve anxiety or pain.

“We found no evidence that people had been harmed however, systems were either not in place or robust enough to demonstrate safety was effectively managed. This placed people at risk of harm.”

It said that where incidents occurred with people in distress or in errors with medicines, there were no reviews to understand if any lessons could be learnt to prevent a re-occurrence.

However, the report said the provider and registered manager had displayed a commitment to improving the experience of residents. “They had an action plan to develop the staff through training and support, introduce better systems to ensure safety and quality and also develop a positive culture and morale of the team.”

Wellburn Care Homes, which runs St Catherine’s, said it was currently working in partnership with both the CQC and the North Yorkshire local authority on improving the home’s current rating from the commission.

It said full action plans were now in place and had been submitted to both the CQC and North Yorkshire, which would be updated on a regular basis.