Margate care home graded as Requires Improvement over property and cleanliness concerns

Staff care and knowledge was rated as Good during the inspection

The home has been graded as Requires Improvement but also received Good ratings in areas for care

A care home in Margate has been graded overall as Requires Improvement following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission, although areas for care by staff were rated as Good.

Mont Calm Margate in Shottendane Road currently cares for 15 residents, some who are living with dementia and other health care needs. The home can support up to 31 people in one adapted building.

The inspection was carried out in response to concerns about cleanliness, upkeep and a lack of hot water. There were additional concerns about practice intended to reduce the risk of COVID-19. These included a COVID-19 positive member of staff isolating within the home and incorrect use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Inspectors found the condition of the building had deteriorated and maintenance had not kept pace with the rate of wear.

Hot water in some bedrooms was only lukewarm, two toilets dripped water from the soil pipe outlet, another toilet did not flush, and two hand wash basins were not firmly attached to the wall. The CQC report says the provider and registered manager were aware of the issues and working through an action plan to improve the quality of the service.

But it adds: “The cleanliness of the home was not to a sufficient standard. Systems intended to support effective infection prevention and control were not fully embedded into daily practice.

“Medicines were not always managed safely. Records of controlled medicines were not accurate, and processes had not always been followed to correctly account for them.”

The report notes: “One member of staff, who had tested positive for COVID-19, moved into the service to an isolation area. They did not support any people or have direct contact with other staff. “We made it clear to the provider and registered manager they must not isolate COVID-19 positive staff in the service again, in line with published guidance.”

A further concern that the service was sharing staff with another home was unfounded.

The inspection found three regulations were not being met, in terms of medicine management, maintenance and hygiene of property and mitigating risks to health, safety and welfare.

The inspection grading dropped from Good to Requires Improvement, particularly for safety and being well-led.

However, the report also rated effectiveness, care and being responsive as Good with residents telling inspectors they felt safe and happy. One resident said: “I can’t fault the staff, I don’t have any concerns”.

Inspectors said the staff approached people warmly and people welcomed their attention and interacted with them readily. They added that staff were knowledgeable about safeguarding adults and knew how to identify and respond to allegations of abuse.

They also found that staff had worked hard to ensure people were not unsettled by the measures in place to protect them from the risk of contracting COVID-19. Staff had spoken with people about the need to restrict visitors and why PPE was in use; families were kept updated.

The report also noted that the provider had identified most defects and had arranged for remedial work to be carried out. A contractor called at the home during the inspection to undertake some repairs. The provider confirmed that the hot water issues would be acted upon immediately and a schedule drawn up to urgently address the remaining issues.

Some deterioration in the condition of the building was attributed to pressure on staff caused by COVID-19 and the need to limit visitors, such as service engineers and tradespeople to the home.

The CQC reports says: “We will request an action plan from the provider to understand what they will do to improve the standards of quality and safety. We will work alongside the provider and local authority to monitor progress. We will return to visit as per our re-inspection programme. If we receive any concerning information we may inspect sooner.”

The inspection was carried out on February 4 and the report published this week.