Agenda item

CQC / PAMMS Inspection Results - Quarterly Summary (Q3 2023-2024)


Consideration was given to the latest quarterly summary regarding Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections for services operating within the Borough (Appendix 1).  Five inspection reports were published during this period (October to December 2023 (inclusive)), with attention drawn to the following Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council (SBC) contracted providers:


Providers rated ‘Good’ overall (2)

           Parkside Court Extra Care Scheme had been upgraded from a previous overall rating of ‘Requires Improvement’.

           Alexandra House had maintained its grading following a previous overall rating of ‘Good’.


The remaining three reports were in relation to non-contracted providers.  A focused inspection of the home care agency, Nightingales Community Care Limited saw it maintain its overall rating of ‘Good’, whilst Grace Dental Care (dentist) required no actions (note: ratings not given for dentists).  Finally, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) received unannounced inspections of four of its inpatient mental health services, and short-notice (24 hours) announced inspections of two of its community services – the ‘well-led’ key question for the Trust was also inspected.  TEWVs overall rating remained at ‘Requires Improvement’, though a number of concerns were found in relation to systems and processes at a senior level, a lack of suitably trained staff to deliver safe care in all services, estate issues presenting risks to quality and safety, a failure to reduce overall rates of restraint use, long waits to access services, supervision / appraisal shortfalls, an inability to consistently collate, analyse and present information about quality and performance to identify risk / challenge or support effective decision-making, and a backlog of 100 serious incidents requiring investigation.


Given the Committee’s history in raising significant concerns about TEWV (culminating in a letter being sent to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in April 2022 calling for a public inquiry into the Trust), Members expressed alarm at the outcomes from this latest CQC inspection.  Noting that TEWV were well into their much-quoted ‘improvement journey’, it was therefore deeply disappointing to read of continuing issues on a scale that had been similarly evident in other CQC publications over recent years.


Discussion ensued regarding the previous attempts to hold TEWV to account over these seemingly repeating problems, and reference was made to the early-2022 consideration of the Trust’s response to a previous concerning CQC report by the Tees Valley Joint Health Scrutiny Committee.  Despite reaching out to other represented Local Authorities for support, the Committee ended up submitting its call for a public inquiry in isolation.


Members drew attention to the repeated assurances previously given by TEWV that improvements were being made.  However, whilst the CQC did indeed note some positive developments, it was clear that services were not working as they should be (indeed, it was observed that some of the findings appeared to demonstrate basic / fundamental skills shortages).  The role of the Governors in terms of oversight was raised, and it was subsequently agreed that the Trust’s Lead Governor should be invited to a future Committee meeting to respond to these latest concerns.


Focus turned to the section on Provider Assessment and Market Management Solutions (PAMMS) inspections (Appendix 2), of which there were 11 reports published during this period (October to December 2023 (inclusive)).  Eight of these were for services given an overall rating of ‘Good’, with Millbeck, The Poplars Care Home, Stockton Lodge Care Home, and Care Matters (Homecare) Limited Stockton all being upgraded from their previous ‘Requires Improvement’ outcomes.  Less encouragingly, Chestnut House was downgraded to ‘Requires Improvement’ from a previous overall rating of ‘Good’, and Oxbridge House and Beeches Care Home were still deemed ‘Requires Improvement’ following a similar overall rating from their previous inspection.


Concluding this item, the SBC Assistant Director – Adult Social Care / PSW notified the Committee of the imminent closure of Teesdale Lodge Nursing Home following issues in relation to its premises and lease agreement.  Assurance was given that the Council was working with the families and staff affected during this difficult time, and that plans were in place for all residents to be appropriately re-located prior to the closure.  Staff were also being transferred to other services, though would remain until all residents had moved to another provider.


AGREED that:


1)         the Care Quality Commission (CQC) Inspection Results – Quarterly Summary (Q3 2023-2024) report be noted.


2)         the TEWV Lead Governor be invited to a forthcoming Committee meeting to respond to the latest CQC report on the Trust from a Governor perspective.

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