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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Workington care home put residents’ safety ‘at risk’

The safety of residents at a Workington care home has been put at risk by unsafe management of medicines.

That’s the view of a government watchdog.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission on an unannounced visit found that procedures were not up to scratch at Rosecroft Residential Home.

They found out-of-date eye drops still in use, a cream in the wrong box and an inhaler, dispensed in August 2012 for one month of treatment, still on the medicines trolley.

One resident who needed thickened fluids to swallow tablets was given plain water, leading to a choking risk.

Some residents were given medicines too close to mealtimes.

Inspectors were told that in some cases morning doses were given so late that midday medication was skipped.

Recording of medication given was inadequate, they said, with some sheets signed off before doses had been taken.

Care plans for managing medicines were poor and staff did not have clear guidance on appropriate care.

The report added that audits did not identify or appropriately manage problems with the way medicines were handled.

The inspectors found that a care worker administering medicines had their personal medication on the same trolley, increasing the chances of mix-ups.

Blood tests to check the dosage of blood thinning medication were up to 18 days overdue and there was no evidence that staff had followed that up.

The inspectors said controlled drugs were correctly handled.

The report said: “People were not protected against the risks associated with medicines because the provider did not have appropriate arrangements in place to manage them.”

The inspection was carried out in April but the report has only just been published.

The home has until August 1 to submit a report setting out how it will make its management of medicines safe.

A previous inspection in April found that the home needed to improve its care and welfare for residents.

Admissions were suspended in February after concerns were raised by community nurses. It is not yet known whether those concerns related to the management of medicines.

The suspension has since been lifted.

Rosecroft has capacity for 51 residents. It is managed by Stilecroft (MPS) Limited, part of MPS Care.

Elizabeth Bedford, who was manager at the time of the inspection and the suspension of admissions, has since left the home.

Nobody from the company was available to comment.

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