Residents at a Dundee care centre for people with brain damage were given medication to treat mental health issues despite staff having little knowledge of their illnesses.
Inspectors have raised various concerns about practices at McGonagall House in Rosebank Street after an unannounced visit on November 2.
The facility was also criticised for breaching resident’s human rights by having CCTV cameras throughout the building.
Centre told to improve quickly
The Care Inspectorate also found failings in infection control surrounding Covid-19 guidelines.
The centre, which treats people with alcohol and drug-related brain damage, has now been given until December 6 to improve infection control measures.
It has until January 24 to improve other areas causing concern.
In the report, the inspectors judged the centre to be weak in two areas — supporting people’s wellbeing, and leadership.
It was marked as adequate in two other areas — quality of the staff team, and care and support during the pandemic.
McGonagall House provides accommodation, care and support to up to 31 people. Their condition prevents them from living independently within the community.
The inspectors’ report, published on November 15 said that McGonagall House is a modern purpose-built care home on two floors located near the centre of Dundee.
The service is designed to help residents live a rich and fulfilling life while enabling them to retain their independence as far as possible.
The report says: “Overall, people could not be confident that the service has all the necessary information and guidance in their care and support folder for how to support them.
Gaps in information
“We found gaps in information or not sufficient detail about matters that could pose a risk to an individual.”
The report continues: “We saw this with medication support but also in other areas.
“Care and support plans did not contain specialist alcohol assessments and management plans.
“Several people were prescribed medications to manage their mental health but there was little or no information about people’s mental health in their folders.”
The inspectors said the service should review the information in people’s care and support folder and make sure all necessary information is included and completed with
sufficient, helpful detail.
The report said that by January 24, the provider must ensure people are supported to keep safe and well by receiving appropriate supported with their medication.
Use of surveillance questioned
The report was also concerned about the level of CCTV camera surveillance in the centre.
The inspectors said: “It’s important that people’s human rights, including right to a private life are respected.
“The home used surveillance cameras throughout the communal areas of the home.
“The appropriate consents from people or their representative were not in place. It was not clear that the use of the cameras were proportionate to any risk present for people.”
The report continued: “The management had not fully considered this area, including legal considerations.
“We recommended that further assessment should be carried out to consider the impact on people who do not require such restrictions and to consider how the impact of this can be minimised.
“We advised that there must be a clear rationale for any restrictions, and restrictions must be regularly reviewed.”
It concluded: “To support people’s rights, including a right to be consulted and to have a private life, the provider should ensure use of surveillance cameras is necessary and proportionate.”
Commenting on Covid infection control, the report said while infection control was adequate there were also concerns.
The report said the home was in general “clean and tidy” for people living there.
But it noted “significant concerns” such as a lack of security in outside storage bins, meaning anyone could access contaminated waste.
Office furniture was also badly damaged meaning it couldn’t be cleaned effectively.
Residents happy with staff members
The centre was praised in other areas however, including “warm and positive relationships” between staff and the people who used the service.
Inspectors concluded: “In the main, people came across as comfortable with their staff members.
“Staff reported that their priority was people’s health and wellbeing. People were able to spend time with staff as they were available throughout the care home and we saw people sitting and chatting with staff.
“Staff said they enjoyed working in the care home. Generally, people had attentive staff who had a relaxed and kind manner.”
When contacted, Debbie Douglas, representing the centre, said she did not wish to comment on the findings in the report.