The health watchdog has told a care home for adults with serious learning disabilities to improve.
St Anne’s Community Services’ home at Queensway in Kirkburton has been rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The small home for six residents with complex needs was subject to a surprise inspection last May.
A report published on August 25 reveals staff were unable to give out medication as planned when the medicine cabinet lock broke.
The cabinet, used for a secondary supply of non-critical medicines, had been broken for many months with no action.
While no one had been harmed the CQC said the wellbeing of some residents, many who cannot talk, was affected as they had been denied their prescriptions over a long period of time.
Confidentiality breaches were also noted as names on empty medicine boxes had not been removed before being thrown in the general waste.
The permanent staff were praised for their care but the inspectors noted a reliance on agency workers, particularly nurses.
CQC officials said this meant that permanent staff were having to spend considerable time with agency staff explaining people’s needs.
They said it was also “unsettling” for the people living at Queensway who had to get to know lots of different people.
St Anne’s Community Services, which runs a further 19 facilities in Kirklees, was also criticised for not installing a permanent manager.
But the CQC said the service was well supported by the deputy manager as the registered manager was only on site for two days a week.
A lack of auditing and quality control was also noted.
Despite the requirement to improve rating, the performance of staff was generally praised with both ‘Care’ and ‘Responsiveness’ categories of the inspection rated as good.
The official report said: “Staff were caring and had positive relationships with people in the home. It was evident permanent staff knew people well and were able to have a good rapport with people.
“The atmosphere was relaxed throughout the day and people’s wishes were always respected, whether this was in food choice, activity or in receiving personal care support.
“It was evident that the home belonged to the people living there as the days were shaped by their preferences.
“Staff were clearly there to support and guide people with gentle prompts, always allowing them to make their own decisions.”
Julie Robinson, deputy chief executive of St Anne’s Community Services, said: “We were disappointed to receive these findings, however, we were pleased that our staff’s care and responsiveness was rated as good.
“All the issues have been addressed, including the ones with medication which have been resolved.
“We’ve also introduced inductions for agency nurses.”