Care home near Northampton will be shut down by April if improvements are not made

The entrance to the Pytchley Court Nursing Home site
The entrance to the Pytchley Court Nursing Home site

A nursing home that has been found wanting by inspectors on six occasions in three years is on its final chance

Pytchley Court Nursing Home in Brixworth has repeatedly breached two regulations since February 2016 relating to governance along with safe care and treatment.

It is now in special measures following the publication of a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report from a visit in September 2018, during which safeguarding alerts were raised over the care and welfare of 11 elderly residents.

And the health watchdog has now confirmed it could close the home within weeks if it cannot demonstrate it has turned a corner.

A CQC spokeswoman said: "The service is being closely monitored and it will be inspected within six months [of the September 2018 visit], or earlier if we receive information of concern.

"If the service does not make the required improvements within six months, we will take action to prevent the provider from operating this service.”

The September visit found numerous serious concerns relating to recognising when people were unwell and referring people for medical care:

- When people became unwell there were no systems in place to compare their condition with their 'healthy' condition as no baseline observations had been recorded.

- Three people were hospitalised with potentially deadly sepsis in the previous month. The CQC said nurses had not been taking full sets of clinical observations, which can allow infections such as sepsis to develop,

- One person had frequent falls and their blood pressure and pulse indicated they could be bleeding or in shock. Staff stopped taking their blood pressure after a while and took two hours to call the GP.

- One person's records showed they regularly had blood sugar levels above the normal acceptable limits, but they were not referred to the diabetes team for assessment .

- One person was at risk of not receiving a pureed meal because it was omitted from their care plan and was at risk of choking.

- A resident with dementia broke their their arm when they fell in the home. An exercise plan prescribed by the physiotherapist was not carried out, meaning they risked not regaining the full use of their arm.

-Four people had lost weight in the last few months. Their risk assessments recommended fortified foods and drinks; however, there was no system in place to ensure they received these.

-Where people had not met their daily target for drinks, nursing staff did not take any action.

-Staff had recorded in the daily notes that two people had unexplained bruising; no action had been taken and these incidents had not been reported to the local safeguarding team.

The spokeswoman for the CQC said it had declined to close Pytchley Court so far because, in deciding sanctions, "we determine which will result in the best outcomes for people living at services".

As things stand. the conditions placed on Pytchley Court require the manager to "update the CQC regularly with evidence of regular audits" and "provide action plans detailing the work being done to make improvements."

A spokeswoman for Pytchley Court said: “The health and wellbeing of our residents is always our number one priority, and we take all feedback from the CQC seriously.

“Following the CQC’s inspection, we quickly put a comprehensive action plan in place, and the senior regional team is supporting the implementation of this at Pytchley Court. A recent internal inspection has shown that the home has already made positive progress.

“We continue to work closely with the relevant authorities to make and sustain improvements, and we are confident we will have made significant positive progress by our next inspection.”