HSinCARE © 2017
Chartered Health and Safety Consultants covering the following areas: Telford, Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Whitchurch, Wem, Ludlow, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, Kidderminster, Worcester, Pershore Malvern, Royal Leamington Spa, Worcester, Worcestershire,Wolverhampton, Walsall, West Midlands, Stafford, Stoke, Burton upon Trent, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire, Chester, Wrexham, Crewe, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Nottingham, Northampton, Daventry and surrounding areas.
Health and Safety Consultancy and Safety Training for schools, nurseries, academies, hospitals, care homes, domiciliary care, retailers, shops, offices, pubs, hotels, manufacturing companies and small contractors.
Risk Assessments, Workplace Audits, Fire Risk Assessments, Fire Warden, Manual Handling, Food Hygiene, CoSHH Assessments and more.
Elderly care residential care homes have many variables, from the type of care being offered to the size of the building and age of premises. With 24 hour care provided, staff are often stretched to the extreme with having to look after not only the residents, but their families, medical professionals and CQC representatives too.
Respective responsibilities for dealing with health and safety incidents
CQC is the lead inspection and enforcement body under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 for safety and quality of treatment and care matters involving patients and service users in receipt of a health or adult social care service from a provider registered with CQC.
HSE/LAs are the lead inspection and enforcement bodies for health and safety matters involving patients and service users who are in receipt of a health or care service from providers not registered with CQC.
CASE STUDY -
A privately owned elderly care home in Northamptonshire, with 24 residents and 40 staff including nurses, care assistants, caterers, cleaners, administrators and a small maintenance team. The building dated from the 1920’s, renovated in the 1980’s when converted to a care home and subsequent extensions added on through to 2010. Currently there are 3 floor levels to the building (plus a basement) and 4 staircases, with an incline to the external car park. The Care Home was purchased by a private buyer in 2013 and managed on a day to day basis by the Matron/Care Home Manager.
The owners requested a workplace audit to be carried out at the beginning of 2015 prior to a CQC audit. As with a large amount of Care Homes, the documentation relating to the safeguarding of residents was a high priority for the Care Home Manager, but Health and Safety Management systems were not so robust.
What did the Health and Safety consultation involve?
Adele carried out a site visit, meeting with the owners and the registered Care Home Manager. The owners requested a Health and safety audit as well as a property Fire Risk Assessment report. The first part of the meeting was used to carry out an audit of the Health and safety management system, followed by a walk around the premises. Familiarising herself with the layout of the building in regards to the positioning of the laundry, the kitchen, the plant room as well as the bedrooms and main reception rooms is essential to evaluate the risks associated with staff activities and movement of residents.
Outcomes resulting from the site visit
1. The Health and Safety documentation needed to be updated, due to reference to out of date Health and Safety legislation and structure of Health and Safety responsibilities. There was no evidence of written staff risk assessments associated with staff activities such as handling the laundry, working in the kitchen, handling medication, working at height in the garden, dealing with bodily fluids and handling bereavement. There were no CoSHH records in place. As a result, Adele provided a new H&S Policy and assisted the Care Home Manager / deputy manager to write suitable and sufficient staff risk assessments and developed the CoSHH assessment recording system.
2. Health and safety induction training could not be evidenced for permanent staff and bank staff. There was no training matrix in place to identify what Health and safety training was required for staff at all levels (such as manual handling, first aider at work, food hygiene and fire warden training). Adele provided the home with bespoke health and safety staff training handbooks to be used as a training aid for all staff in addition to induction records to show that all staff received consistent information. She also provided information on how to develop a training matrix relevant to the home needs.
3. Documentation records for maintenance of lifting equipment (hoists, beds, the lift), electrical system, gas equipment and fire detection equipment were not centralized. Adele provided the owners with a comprehensive list of all equipment on the premises that needed to be maintained so that a manual containing all inspection and maintenance records could be retained.
4. Although the home had developed a staggered emergency evacuation procedure and there were records to show that emergency evacuation drills were carried out, Adele highlighted flaws in the drill that had not been considered. Most fires in a care home environment occur during the night and this is when there are minimal staff on the premises, or staff are in bedrooms normally on the top floor. Due to the location of the main staircase in this property relative to the position of the kitchen and layout of resident bedrooms, the night time evacuation procedure needed to be re-
The owners were very glad of the support provided to them and having the pressure taken off them to put a robust Health and Safety Management system in place on their own, this allowed them to be actively involved in their new business and to ensure the Care Home Manager could carry on with the smooth day to day running of the home.
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