Northampton care home did not give elderly residents medicine in the 'correct format'

Southfields House has been given a requires improvement rating by the CQC.
Southfields House has been given a requires improvement rating by the CQC.

A Northampton care home run by a county council-formed company has been told it needs to improve after inspectors found residents were not always given medicines "safely".

Southfields House in Farmhill Road, Southfields, has been given a "requires improvement" rating by the Care Quality Commission following its latest inspection.

The Olympus Care-run home, which has 46 beds, was found lacking in four out of the five main criteria by inspectors, who had concerns over the way the mainly elderly residents were given medicines.

"People were rushed to take their medicines and they were not always given them in the correct format, for example dissolved in water," the report found.

"The systems in place to ensure people received their medicines safely required improvement as they were not always given at regular intervals, or with sufficient lengths of time between each medicine."

Some residents' medicines were not always ordered and received in sufficient time, the watchdog found, meaning they could not be taken when required.

Inspectors also criticised a lack of staff there too, which they said led to residents staying in bed "longer than they would choose."

Meal times also came under fire as "there were insufficient numbers of staff to support people to have their meals without delay."

The inspectors added: "People did not always have access to drinks and people's nutritional needs were not always sufficiently monitored and assessed."

Olympus Care Services was set up by Northamptonshire County Council to run care homes, provide services for people with disabilities and run schemes such as short breaks for carers on behalf of the county council, in 2012.

However has since been incorporated by Northamptonshire Adult Social Services, the new mutual company set up by the council to run all of its adult care services.

A spokeswoman for NASS, said: "While we are disappointed at the overall rating, we are very proud that our staff received ‘good’ for their care and support of customers. As a company, we are addressing the issues raised regarding quality assurance, and plans are already in place.”