Care home told to improve on first inspection by CQC

White Pearl House <i>(Image: Google)</i>
White Pearl House (Image: Google)

A care home which only opened in June 2021 has been rated as requires improvement on its first inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

White Pearl House in Vincent Court, Blackburn, was registered with the CQC on June 17, 2021.

The home provides accommodation for people who require personal care to up to five people.

It is a single, detached building spread over two floors and provides support to younger adults with learning disabilities, autistic spectrum disorders or mental health.

At the time of the CQC’s inspection there was one person using the service.

Inspectors assessed the key areas of safe, effective, well-led, caring and responsive, and while they found the areas of effective, caring and responsive to be ‘good’, they rated the areas of ‘safe and well-led’ as requires improvement, giving the home an overall rating of ‘requires improvement’.

The rating was mainly down to breaches in terms of staff recruitment and medication, and preventing and controlling infection.

A report from the inspection read: “Staff were not always recruited safely.

“Some staff members had started working at the service without a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or references in place.

“This meant there was a risk of harm to the people using the service. In these cases, DBS checks and references had been sought retrospectively.

“A full employment history was not in place for all staff members. On occasions, a completed interview record was not in place.

“This meant that recruitment safeguards were not always followed that would prevent people using the service from potential harm.”

The CQC also found that risks to individuals and staff were not always safely managed, as there was no certificate in place for the installation of the electrical system, a legionella risk assessment was not available, and the water storage and supply had not been inspected by an appropriate person.

Some risk assessments were in place and reviewed regularly, however, risk assessments for the environment and individual service user health needs were not in place.

Inspectors noted that processes for preventing and controlling infection were not always in place and PPE was not being used in line with current guidance.

The report stated: “When we arrived to inspect, staff members were not wearing any PPE.

“This was rectified during the inspection. We recommend the provider consider current guidance on infection prevention and control and take action to update their practice accordingly.

“There was no regular audit taking place for managing and monitoring infection control practices.

“This meant that infections were not being controlled adequately, putting people who use the service, staff members and visitors at risk.

“There was an infection control policy in place, but this did not include the most up to date guidance. We signposted the provider to current guidance and the infection prevention and control team to develop their approach.”

In terms of the ‘well-led’ area, the CQC found service was not always well managed.

There was a medication audit in place at the home, but this was not robust enough and was being completed infrequently.

This meant that risks associated with medicines were not identified.

The report went on: “There was one occasion where the provider had not notified the CQC when they should have.

“This was for the outcome of an application to deprive someone of their liberty.”

However, there was positivity among staff and among people using the facility with staff members speaking highly of the management and of their experience working there.

White Pearl House has been contacted for comment.