Troubled Northampton care home shakes off 'inadequate' rating after watchdog finds improvements in all areas

St Michaels House has shaken off its special measures imposed by the CQC.
St Michaels House has shaken off its special measures imposed by the CQC.

A struggling Northampton care home that been rated 'inadequate' twice in the past two years has shaken off the special measures imposed on it by the health watchdog.

St Michael's House, in St Michaels Avenue, has bounced between two 'inadequate' ratings and score of 'requires improvement' since it failed an inspection by the CQC in August 2017.

In its most recent, unannounced inspection published last week (October 25), the care home has again climbed up to a 'requires improvement' rating and is finally out of special measures.

However, the CQC says that the 'requires improvement' rating is the most they can assign for this report and more time is needed to prove the home can sustain its improvements.

St Michael's Lodge was branded 'inadequate' in August 2017 after inspectors said its management team lacked 'any form of quality assurance' provided and 'uncaring' service for patients.

This included cases where they found bedroom doors were locked during the day and residents weren't trust with their own keys.

The home made improvements in their next visit - but in April 2018, inspectors were unimpressed to find 'ingrained dirt, grease and black mold' in room after room that posed 'a direct risk' to residents.

Now, the home has been upgraded out of its inadequate rating and relieved of its special measure after the unannounced inspection in September.

The new report reads: "People told us they felt safe... The home had underdone decoration and renovation in many areas, and all areas were being regularly cleaned.

"Staff treated people with kindness, dignity and respect and spent time getting to know them and their specific needs and wishes. People told us there were happy with the way that staff spoke to them, and provided their care in a respectful and dignified manner.

"All aspects of people's health was documented within their files and updated regularly... however, there were improvements required in identifying risks and making sure people could take the medicine they required safely.

"[But] more time is required to evidence sustainability of the improvements made."

St Michael's House will likely be reinspected in a six months time.