Yorkshire care home’s inconsistent leadership did not always support high-quality care

Inconsistent leadership did not always support high-quality care at a council-run care home in York, a report says.

Flaxman Avenue care home, a short-break support service providing personal care to two people at the time of an inspection in October, was rated good overall by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on November 25.

The service can support up to six people with a learning disability, autism and/or other sensory and complex needs.

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Although the CQC was pleased with most aspects of how the City of York Council service was run, it also ruled that “the service management and leadership was inconsistent.”

Flaxman Avenue care homeFlaxman Avenue care home
Flaxman Avenue care home

The overall rating was “good” but when the question “is the service well-led?” was asked, the answer was that it “required improvement.”

“Leaders and the culture they created did not always support the delivery of high-quality, person-centred care,” the report read. “Effective governance systems were not always in place. Not all documentation relating to the management of the service had been updated or reviewed.

“For example, agency induction records and aspects of people’s files contained out-of-date information. It was not always clear what information was current.”

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The report went onto read: “The registered manager undertook regular checks and audits. However, they were unable to explain a potential discrepancy identified during the inspection. Albeit, this was later explained by another member of the staff team, it was acknowledged the way it was written was confusing.

“Furthermore, the potential error had not been picked up as part of the auditing process. This meant we could not be assured of the effectiveness of their audits of this process.”

It added: “Staff had recently received new job descriptions and were looking forward to working within these. However, due to a shortage of permanent staff this had not taken place. This meant some aspects of the role had not been undertaken. For example, not all documentation within the service had been fully updated.

“We recommend the provider ensures the effectiveness of governance systems in the service.”

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Michael Melvin, interim corporate director of adult services and integration, said: “We are pleased that in the first inspection since taking over the service, we have an overall rating of good, reflecting the safe, effective and caring approach that our staff take to supporting people.

“But there’s always more to do to improve the service we offer to our residents so we will continue to build on these good foundations to deliver the best possible service.”