A care home where medicines ‘were not always safely managed’ has been told by inspectors it ‘requires improvement’.

Care Quality Commission inspectors visited Amberley Care Home in Sale in September when it was caring for 51 people.

The team found improvements had been made in the quality of the home’s ‘person-centred care’ received by people and staffing deployment.

But it went on: “Further improvements were still required in relation to the safe management of medication, infection control, consent and good governance.

“The provider continued to be in breach of regulations. We found medicines were not always managed safely across the service.”

Their report said the home’s internal medication audits had ‘not been effective in identifying the issues and in driving the necessary improvements’.

“Whilst there were processes in place to help manage the spread of infection, these were not always followed by staff,” it said.

“Risks to people’s care had been considered and plans were in place to manage these.”

The report said inconsistencies were found in the application of the principles of the Mental Capacity Act. There were policies and systems in the service to support staff with this, but practice differed from these.

It continued: “The service had failed to identify any conditions that were attached to people’s Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DoLS) authorisations. Due to this, any conditions were not being complied with.

“People were not supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff did not support them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests. The manager rectified this after the inspection.”

Staff the inspectors spoke to said they felt ‘better supported’ in their roles by the new manager. Training was being completed with further sessions planned.

“People were complimentary about the activities on offer,” the report said. “The home had made links with a charity and a music therapist had started to visit the home.

“Quality checks and audits were undertaken, but these had not identified concerns we found with medicines, infection control and conditions attached to DoLS authorisations not being complied with.

“The provider had made little progress since the last inspection in making the home environment more suitable for people living with a diagnosis of dementia.

“The home was keen to work in partnership with professionals and organisations for the benefit of people living at the home.”

The overall rating for the homes was ‘requires improvement’ and was the same for the categories of safety, effectiveness and leadership, but it was deemed to be ‘good’ for its responsiveness.

A spokesperson from Amberley Care Home said:  “We take all feedback from the CQC seriously. We are pleased the home has been rated ‘Good’ in the responsive and caring categories. Residents told the CQC that they felt safe and that the care provided met their needs. 

“Following the inspection in September, we put in place an immediate action plan to address the areas identified as requiring improvement, including organising refresher training sessions on our infection control and medicine management policies.

“Our absolute priority is to ensure residents are happy, healthy and safe, and we look forward to demonstrating improvements at the home when it is next inspected in the near future.”