Boss of under-fire Wigan care home is stripped of his registration certificate

The Acorns
The Acorns

The former manager of a once failing Wigan care home has been stripped of his registration by health and social care watchdogs.

Acorns Care Centre, in Hindley, was put into special measures last year after the Care Quality Commission rated it as “inadequate”.

As part of ongoing scrutiny into the provider, the health and social care watchdog took enforcement action in July this year and another inspection was carried out during which several concerns were raised.

Just three months later inspectors have revisited the care home, rating it as “requires improvement” with three “good” areas of assessment.

However, inspectors say that despite “significant improvements”, Acorns Care Centre has breached several health and care regulations by failing to manage patients’ medicine correctly.

At the time of the most recent inspections in October, the CQC cancelled the registration of Kevin Hall, leaving the care home with no registered manager.

The subsequent report, which was released this week, says: “Because of the significant improvements identified, we have withdrawn the enforcement action taken regarding the home following our November 2017 inspection when the home was rated inadequate.

“We have completed our enforcement action taken against the registered manager and cancelled their registration with CQC.

“The home continues to be supported by the local authority through a service improvement plan (SIP) and we attend meetings bi-monthly to monitor the homes progress.”

Improvements have been made across the board since the home came under the management of consultancy firm “Caresolve” however inspectors stressed that progress must be made to ensure the safe dispensing of medicine.

The report adds: “We found medicines were not managed safely as nursing staff were not adhering to the procedure.

“There was a high use of agency nurses at the time of the inspection who were not adhering to systems and maintaining stock checks.

“We found five medicine administration records (MAR) without the person’s photograph.

“These would assist agency staff in ensuring they gave medicines to the correct person.

“There were missed signatures on each MAR we looked at. In some instances, it could be determined the medicine had been given but not signed for, however, seven people’s MAR and medication stocks didn’t tally which meant people had not received their medicines as prescribed.”

The Parkside care home, has been criticised on numerous occasions in the past few years. In May 2017, Wigan and Leigh magistrates slapped the care home bosses with a £104,000 after mouse droppings were found throughout the home.

An appeal against the judgement was later lodged at Bolton Crown Court, and a judge more than halved the penalty to £50,000.

Just four months ago, in July, inspectors carried out another inspection - which highlighted continued “failures” in respect of the delivery of safe care and treatment.

However, despite its chequered past, the care home does appear to be making improvements and has proved to be “responsive”, “caring” and “effective”.

Following October’s unannounced visit Inspectors commented: “Recent environmental health and infection control checks showed significant improvements had been attained regarding the environment and practices within the home.

“Previous inspections had seen the home rated as zero and one respectively for food hygiene practices, but the home had been awarded four stars 11 Acorns Care Centre Inspection report 22 November 2018 following a recent environmental health and infection control visit.

“We checked safety documentation to ensure the service was appropriately maintained and safe for residents.

“We saw fire equipment had been checked and practice fire drills carried out. A fire risk assessment was in place.”

The Care Quality Commission has asked Acorns Care Centre management to complete a report detailing how their most recent concerns will be addressed and resolved. We asked the home for a response but none was provided.