Agenda item

Review two: Care Homes quality assurance - community evidence

Esmé Dobson, former user of care services in Southwark, will attend.


Esmé Dobson,a former user of care services in Southwark, attended and gave a presentation on service a relative received in a Southwark care home and then touched on her later experience of a care home in Lewisham.


Learning points she suggested the Commission considered included her view that:


·  Even a care home rated Good by CQC  was not providing suitable activities, with a dedicated coordinator


·  The GP service was not meeting residents needs and had not been for some time – an issue she raised with the CCG


·  The building had repair issues, which  raised staff stress level and did not help with dementia management


·  There were a lot of good care workers, but she found it difficult to raise her concerns regarding one staff member and the subsequent investigation was done by the care home, rather than Southwark.


·  Quarterly meetings for relatives often did not happen, and when they did the monitoring officer recommended contacting the care home manager for her contact details.


·  Provision for dementia often only caters for people with lower levels of need, which means people may have to move when their needs increase.


·  The important role the council has in monitoring the quality of care , particularly for residents without relatives


·  The difficulties even an engaged family member had in resolving concerns


·  Concerns that the Lay Inspection team is not functioning and there is a lack of organisational commitment to its continuation


Esmé Dobson said that her efforts to address the above concerns had eventually resulted in a letter of full of apologies from the provider of the Southwark home.


 The Director of Commissioning, Genette Laws, explained that these concerns  were historic, dating from 2017, and assured members that the provider, Anchor, had taken steps to address shortcomings. 


She also provided assurance that the monitoring team do attend Southwark Care Homes regularly and offered to provide copies of the last ten monitoring reports for members, as a closed item as they would contain confidential information .


The scrutiny project manager suggested contacting Anchor for comment on recent work,  to provide an opportunity for more up to date information on steps taken to provide assurance on care home quality.


A member asked if the monitoring team would look at whether an activities programme was in place and address appliances not working. The Director of Commissioning said they would certainly look at activities, and if the home looked well kept, although not the specifics of a working washing machine. They would also look at family meetings and their experience of the home.


Members indicated they would like to obtain clarification from Age UK on the Lay Inspectors scheme, receive more information on the visitation programme and understand the commissioning arrangements.


There was a discussion about a previous review of Care Homes undertaken by scrutiny, after a series of poor CQC reports on local homes, including Tower Bridge Care Centre, which a member had visited.  The Director of Commissioning said this home had improved, with other homes closing and new homes being commissioned. She offered to provide a briefing providing clarity on providers and plans for the future.




Officers will provide:


-  Last 6 months care home monitoring reports

-  Provide a brief summary of current care homes commissioned in Southwark

-  Outline of funding arrangements with Southwark Lay Inspectors


Age UK Lewisham and Southwark will be asked to provide a summary of Lay Inspector work and plans for the future.