Care provider appeals staff consultation ruling

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The owner of a Todmorden care home is appealing against a Care Quality Commission judgement requiring an improvement in seeking staff’s views when assessing the quality of service people receive.

Mr Barry Potton, of Pennine Lodge Care Home, Burnley Road, Todmorden, is appealing against the ruling on the grounds that he is based in Todmorden, sees staff regularly and a process involving both staff meetings and individual supervision and appraisal sessions is already in place.

The Care Quality Commission’s ruling followed routine inspections on January 8 and 13 to check that people using the services it provides benefited from safe quality care, treatment and support due to effective decision making and the management of risks to their health, welfare and safety.

Inspectors observed how people were cared for and talked with people who use the service, including carers, family members and staff and reviewed information sent to them by commissioners of services.

They found that people who used the service, their relatives and visiting professionals were asked their views about care and treatment and these were acted on, but the provider had not taken steps to seek the views of staff.

Responses completed by relatives, carers, doctors, district nurses and other health professionals dating to the start of this year were all positive with standards graded as excellent or good.

During the inspections staff had spoken enthusiastically about the residents and the care they received - but a number expressed concerns about the culture in the home and the way some staff were treated, some feeling that they were not trusted.

Inspectors said they were unable to reconcile differences in perception between some staff and management had about the issue, resulting in the judgement.

The inspectors said the provider was unable to show he was fulfilling his responsibility to seek the views of staff and assess these in relation to the standard of care at the home and this was an important part off the provider’s responsibility in monitoring the service and coming to an informed view as to the standard of care and treatment people living in the home received.

Mr Potton said this week that although action had been taken by management in response to the judgement, he had taken advice and been told there was no legal requirement to survey staff as he was on site, able to meet staff and a system of staff meetings, supervision and appraisals was in place.

Mr Potton said he was based in Todmorden and visited the home on a regular basis, there were regular staff meetings held and a process built on individual supervision and quarterly appraisals.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is a non-departmental Government public body established in 2009 to regulate and inspect all health and social care services in England, public, private or charitable.