A care home has been downgraded after breaching regulations in relation to the safety of its residents and infection prevention and control measures.

Olive House Home for Older People in Bacup was last rated ‘good’ in September 2019.

At the most recent inspection the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated the homes as ‘requires improvement’ in the four areas of ‘safe’, ‘effective’, ‘responsive’ and ‘well led’, giving it an overall rating of ‘requires improvement’.

The only area not to be rated as such was ‘caring’, which inspectors scored as ‘good’.

Olive House Home for Older People is a care home providing accommodation for persons who require personal care for up to 44 people.

The service provides support to older people and younger adults who are living with physical disabilities, dementia, or mental health.

The inspection found that risks were not always managed safely, infection control practices were not always safe, and medicines storage needed assessing.

One main area of concern was insecure wardrobes, and records relating to legionella (specifically flushing of empty outlets) were not as clear as they could have been.

This meant inspectors could not clearly identify which empty rooms had been flushed.

There were also issues in relation to recording Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs), which needed updating, and people's weights were not being monitored effectively, and food and nutrition records were not always being completed when necessary.

The report read: “Infection prevention and control measures were not always safe.

"We found unlabelled/communal toiletries in multiple bathrooms which posed an infection risk.

“Wet towels were found on the floor of communal bathrooms and we found four communal loofahs in communal bathrooms, which posed an infection risk.

“Cleaning records were not in place for bedrooms and cleaning records were not always being completed, which means we could not be assured cleaning duties were taking place as often as they should be.

“In the laundry we picked five random pieces of clothing and found that three of these items were not labelled.

"This means people were at risk of not getting their own clothes back.”

However, CQC inspectors did find people were safeguarded from risk of abuse and people felt safe.

Adequate staffing was in place, and although recruitment practices were safe, records relating to recruitment needed improving.

The report went on: “We reviewed some examples of lessons learned, though work was needed to strengthen this.

"Staff supervisions were not happening in line with the provider's policy, the provider had put a plan in place to address this over the next three months.

“Appropriate staff training was in place and people were supported with food and fluid intake, though records relating to this were not always completed.

“People's needs were assessed, and people were supported with their health care needs.

"Although some adaptations had been made to the home to meet the needs of the people living there, further improvements were needed.”

Inspectors also noted complaints were not always handled in line with the home’s policy and records were not always person centred.

The report stated: “We identified concerns around the governance of the service.

"Various documents in relation to people's care, cleaning records, audits, policies, staff supervisions and the management of the service were either not completed/not in place, not up to date, had not been regularly reviewed or were not accurate.

“Some of the audits that were carried out did not always identify the issues we found at this inspection and were therefore not robust enough.

"Some of the audits did identify the issues we found, however these issues had not been resolved.

“Some documents were not easily accessible or available on site.

"However, we acknowledge that the registered manager was on annual leave and that the provider is in the process of going paperless, but the process in which this was happening, and the storage of records could have been more organised.”

Necessary information was being sent to the local authority and CQC, and the home will need to provide an action plan to understand what they will do to improve the standards of quality and safety.

The CQC will work alongside the provider and local authority to monitor progress.

A spokesperson for Lancashire County Council said: “We are disappointed by the change in rating since our absolute priority is to provide the best care that we can for the people who are living at Olive House.

"We accept the inspectors' findings which highlighted shortfalls including staff supervision, infection control and certain medicines storage facilities as well as some of our auditing procedures.

"We addressed many of the areas highlighted during the inspection, while we are implementing measures to address the remainder as a matter of priority.

"For example, the CQC inspectors' report emphasised that we immediately instigated a detailed action plan to address concerns over safety monitoring and record keeping during and after the inspection, that we shared the inspectors' concerns over infection control with all staff and that we immediately acted to address concerns over staff training and supervision.

"The inspection also made some positive findings, including that Olive House Home for Older People was a caring service where people felt safe, receiving their medicines safely and at the right times, and that they were 'well treated and supported'.

"Similarly, equality and diversity were respected and people's dignity, privacy and independence were promoted.

"However, we would like to reassure our residents and the wider community that we take the report's findings as a matter of the utmost seriousness by acting instantly and by continuing to act to resolve the issues highlighted, as we are dedicated to providing the best possible care that we can for our residents."