Hulcott Nursing Home in Aylesbury has been rated ‘requires improvement’ following a focused inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Inspectors looked at the care home partly because of concerns people raised about a ‘closed culture’ at the service, and its response to requests for visits. The CQC assessed it against the key inspection questions of whether the service is safe and well-led.

Hulcott Nursing Home provides nursing and personal care for older people who may be living with dementia. At the time of the inspection in October 2022, 24 people were using the service.

Safety

Inspectors identified concerns about infection prevention and control, which could put people living at Hulcott Nursing Home at risk of harm. Masks were not worn consistently, and the way laundry was managed meant there were risks of cross-contamination.

Nor could the home demonstrate that there were effective fire drills. Two fire exit routes were obstructed, which could make evacuating people safely difficult in case of an emergency.

Inspectors reported that it wasn’t clear whether people received the support they needed to stay well hydrated. Records at the care home showed that varying amounts of fluid were offered to people from day to day, and sometimes only small amounts had been drunk. Inspectors observed that some people had multiple, sometimes untouched, drinks left on their bedside tables, which were later cleared away. They felt they could not be confident that there was effective monitoring in place to ensure people were drinking enough, even though Hulcott Nursing Home carried out regular audits and checks on the quality of people’s care.

Relatives felt their family members received safe care. The registered manager referred any safeguarding concerns to the local authority or other agencies, as necessary, and inspectors reported that people’s medicines were managed safely.

The CQC found no evidence during its focused inspection that people were at risk of harm from the ‘closed culture’ it had been told about. Overall, however, Hulcott Nursing Home received a rating of ‘requires improvement’ for safety.

Leadership

Hulcott Nursing Home was also rated ‘requires improvement’ against the key question of whether it is well-led. This means that management and leadership at the service was inconsistent. It also means that leaders at Hulcott Nursing Home, and the culture they created, did not always support the delivery of high-quality, person-centred care.

At its last inspection, the CQC found that Hulcott Nursing Home had failed to ensure records were suitably maintained and that effective governance processes were in place. This was a breach of regulation 17 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.

In 2022, Inspectors found that not enough improvement had been made, and that the provider was still in breach of regulation 17.

Overall rating

For the key questions not considered at this inspection, Hulcott Nursing Home was awarded the same ratings issued after its previous inspection. For effectiveness, responsiveness and caring, it was rated ‘good’.

However, the overall rating for Hulcott Nursing Home has changed from ‘good’ to ‘requires improvement’ following its focused inspection.

The CQC’s full report on Hulcott Nursing Home is available on its website.

If you have experience of this care home, or any other health or social care service in Buckinghamshire, you can rate and review it right here on our website.

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Published on 20 Dec, 2022 (updated 19 Jan, 2023)

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