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Vulnerable ‘left without medication’ at Kentish Town care home

Ash Court Care Centre ‘disappointed’ with inspectors’ findings

29 November, 2019 — By Tom Foot

VULNERABLE elderly people were routinely left without prescribed medicine for “prolonged periods” at a care home, inspectors have warned.

Ash Court Care Centre, in Ascham Street, Kentish Town, has “deteriorated” and now “requires improvement” overall, according to the Care Quality Commission.

In a new report, the care watchdog said: “People were not receiving their medication for prolonged periods of time and staff and management knew about it. However, no effective action had been taken to ensure people received their medicines as required.”

Ten out of 22 residents, whose records were reviewed by inspectors in May, were found to have missed routine doses of prescribed medication on a single day.

Two residents were placed “at serious risk of being harmed due to not receiving their medicines”, the report added.

There were also concerns about the way ­nursing staff had been administering medicine “covertly” against regulations. The report singled out one case where “nursing staff did not have the permission to give it to the person without their knowledge”.

Ash Court, run by Forest Healthcare, is one of Camden’s biggest care homes. It has 62 elderly residents, many of who have dementia.

In 2012, it was at the centre of a national scandal when a Kentish Town family filmed staff physically abusing their grandmother on a secret camera installed in a bedside clock. It led to criminal charges and conviction of a staff member and an overhaul of management of the home.

The CQC report praised caring staff at the home, adding: “There was a welcoming and positive culture in the service. Staff and managers received consistently positive feedback from people, their relatives and external professionals.”

The care home was rated “good” in March 2017. But the latest report, published on November 6, found it was now failing in four out of five key categories.

A spokesperson for Ash Court Care Centre said: “We are obviously disappointed with the rating received during the inspection in early September, which, although inspectors found no evidence that people had been harmed, highlighted areas where we needed to do more to reduce the risk of harm.”

They added: “Particularly, we have faced issues with the availability of a small number of medicines.  “We continue to work with our providers and GPs, and to source alternative provision, to avert a recurrence of such issues and to ensure that we can obtain prescribed medicines in a timely manner.”

“We promptly improved systems, including updating care plans and advancing our maintenance programmes, to incorporate all of the other recommendations made by the inspectors to bring all levels of our service up to a ‘good’ level.”

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