Cobridge nursing home TVs drowned out sound of patient alarms
TELEVISIONS were turned up so loud at a nursing home that staff did not hear alarm calls for help from distressed patients, a report has revealed.
Inspectors visiting Scotia Heights in Cobridge were told about the problem, alongside a number of other concerns.
They include vulnerable people being given the wrong medicines because nurses were distracted during their rounds.
And a learning disability nurse was found to be covering patients who had breathing problems when she had no training in that specialism.
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Now Scotia Heights has been warned it faces fines or other penalties if it doesn't improve.
The 60-bed home, mainly for pensioners with dementia and other mental illnesses, received two unannounced visits from the Care Quality Commission regulator in November.
Inspectors found residents were put at risk by low staffing levels, a high turnover of temporary workers and newly-qualified carers used in areas they were not trained in.
Their report told how:
A patient was put at risk on a trip out as the escorting care worker was unskilled to deal with urgent care required;
Nurses were found to be finishing their day shifts early in order to return for night stints due to staff shortages;
Staff recorded as being on duty were really attending training sessions;
Seven times last October staff had to respond to an agitated resident leaving low supervision of six other patients.
Andrea Gordon, CQC deputy director of operations for the central region, said: "Scotia Heights needs to address this issue or face further consequences."
The CQC issued the enforcement notices for failings on standards of staffing and quality andsuitability of management. It also found previous concerns had not been addressed.
But the commission said it was encouraged the home now had an action plan to improve.
Its report said: "There were a number of medication errors where the distraction of staff during rounds was the root cause. One relative told us they had raised concerns several times about the volume of televisions meaning that nurse alarms were not heard by staff."
While at the home, inspectors heard a patient's alarm but as staff could not hear it, a relative had to fetch a nurse to respond.
A spokesman for the home said: "We are taking this matter very seriously and continue to work to ensure the home returns to our high standards. At a subsequent inspection last Friday feedback was positive and indicated we are now fully compliant."