Unannounced inspections deter poor practice
Caring Times, July/August 2013
I agree with the two themes on your letters page in the June edition of Caring Times.
With reference to eating with residents, we have found it is helpful to offer different eating areas in the home, where residents who are more able and prefer a dining experience can feel they are in a hotel environment and those that need help are given more time and support in an area where they are not overlooked.
Because our staff do need a short break alone to comply with working times directive and good practice to relax on a busy shift we allocate 20 minutes to all staff for a break (our shifts are 7hours). However, we dedicate one staff member each day to have an extended lunch so they can sit with residents for the meal and then take 10 minutes as their own break, and this does appear to break down barriers and enables staff and residents to get to know each other in a better way.
On unannounced inspections, I also have come in to do unannounced inspections and as the night staff know this may happen at any time it does work as a deterrent to poor practices, such as the one described by Helen Wiss. Perhaps CQC should follow our examples, as my experience is that since we moved to a national inspectorate we have only ever had inspections in the mornings. Gone are the days I can threaten staff with “the inspector may call at any time!”.
Finally, we’ve had the announcement on the BBC News that CQC is being advised by health minister Jeremy Hunt to audit deaths in care homes. On one hand we are upskilling to offer good end of life care, and on the other, residents are not meant to die in greater numbers? Beggars belief! What will they come up with next?
– Denise Denis The Aylsham Manor, Aylsham, Norfolk