Inspectors rap care home staff over false nails

A CARE home in Downend has been told to improve by the regulator after inspectors said parts of its service “were not always safe”.

A report from the Care Quality Commission on Avonmere Care home in Badminton Road highlighted “medication errors” – and criticised some staff for wearing false nails.

Avonmere has 76 residents, specialising in the care of older people and those with dementia, and is run by Avery Homes Downend.

The CQC visited in July. Its report said the home ‘requires improvement’ in the areas of safety and leadership, and overall.

The home was rated ‘good’ in three areas: care, responsiveness and effectiveness.

In its report the CQC said: “Improvements were required with medicines management, record keeping, staff training, person-centred care, including care planning, and the audit and governance processes.

“Medicines were not always managed safely. We identified a number of issues with medicines including medication errors.”

These included not giving medicines on time, not checking people who were supposed to take their own medicine had done so, an insecure medicine trolley, expired medicines not being disposed of and people not receiving medicine because of delays in deliveries from a pharmacy.

The inspectors said: “We found no evidence people were harmed at the time of the inspection, however, unsafe management of medicines placed people at increased risk of harm.”

The CQC said the home was clean and staff used personal protective equipment (PPE) effectively.

But the inspectors said: “We observed some staff members wearing nail varnish and/or gel nails.

“This is not considered best practice from an infection prevention and control perspective.

“The use of gels and varnishes makes it easier for fingernails to harbour infection.”

The report also said care plans did not tell staff how to support people who had been assessed as being at risk of choking.

The CQC also called for improvements to governance systems, and said management and leadership was “inconsistent”.

Inspectors did find that residents and relatives felt the home was safe.

They said: “All of the staff we spoke with said they believed the team provided good care to people.

“Staff spoke highly of the service and said they enjoyed working there.

“There was a friendly atmosphere at the service. We saw people laughing and joking with the staff, and they were smiling in their company.

“Through conversation, staff demonstrated a good knowledge of how to keep people safe from abuse.”

Responding to the report, Avery said: “We are dedicated to providing the best care and service to residents and families at all times and take the report’s findings seriously.

“The team have taken appropriate actions to address the concerns raised.”