CQC fines care home provider £4,000 for medication failings

Nursing home failed to make required improvements in administering medicines following inspections.

The Care Quality Commission has fined a care provider £4,000 for medication failings at one of its nursing homes.

The CQC issued a fixed penalty notice to St Martin’s Care Ltd after it failed to make required improvements to the management of medication at Willow Green Care Home in Darlington.

Two unannounced inspections in February 2012 at the nursing home revealed that the management of medicines was unsafe: residents were not given medication at the right times or missed doses; records were inaccurate or incomplete and did not show whether medication had been given as prescribed, and staff lacked information on  administering medicines that needed to be given when required or in variable doses.

But though the home received a warning notice and was required to improve, a follow-up inspection in May found that the home was still not compliant with the essential standard on the management of medicines, despite improvements. Staff still lacked information on administering medicines that needed to be given when required, while records on administering medication were still not complete.

As a result it received the fixed penalty notice. A subsequent inspection in October found the home had made improvements and was compliant with the standard on managing medicines, but it was found to be failing the standard on keeping accurate personal records, including for medication. This had been rectified by the time of a further inspection in November.

Malcolm Bower-Brown, the CQC’s director in the North, said: “Although the provider has now taken action to achieve compliance, we will keep Willow Green under review to ensure that the improvements we have found in our most recent inspection are sustained. We will not hesitate to take further action if necessary to ensure residents receive the service they are entitled to expect.”

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