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Aberdeen care home better at keeping residents entertained – and safe from infection

Northcote Lodge Care Home. Photo: DCT Media
Northcote Lodge Care Home. Photo: DCT Media

Inspectors have praised an Aberdeen care home for making a series of improvements since their last visit.

Northcote Lodge Care Home in Aberdeen was linked to 25 cases of Covid before Christmas. 

Following a previous visit, the Care Inspectorate made an unannounced trip to the Craigton Road home on March 7.

They found that staff had heeded their previous advice and noted the home was safe and minimises the risk of infection.

They were also pleased to see residents were “meaningful occupied” and that files have been accurate and useable.

Activity coordinators help ensure residents have plenty to do

In their report, the Care Inspectorate said the visit was a “focused follow up” to evaluate how well people were being supported during the pandemic.

They noted staff had a good record of what each resident likes to do organised in activities folders and planners, allowing them to plan how to fill their time.

The report states: “The manager anticipates that an additional activities coordinator will be employed soon, and this is in recognition of the fact that the carers devote their time to hands on care and do not always have spare time to consider specific activities and wellbeing aspects.

“The present activities coordinators have drawn up new planners guiding towards 1:1 time in the mornings, and towards groups in the afternoons. This mix of planned time gives a range of meaningful activity for a large number of people.

“We talked with an activities coordinator and she told us about taking one person to a different part of the home to visit their friend, and also about introducing people that she had discovered held a similar interest.

“We saw a coordinator encouraging a resident to go outside and the door was open, so the garden was easily accessible. This encouragement and enablement helped people to enjoy their time as they wished.”

Better records kept for care and cleaning

Inspectors noted that the care home’s records were accurate and usable, with staff fully aware of how to keep any supplementary charts up-to-date.

They said the care plans were “largely accurate” with some “good examples of careful recording that led to more informed care”.

They also praised the team for keeping the files updated with regular contact from family, such as notes about discussions between staff and loved ones.

With regards to efforts to minimise the risk of infection, inspectors were pleased to see a better Quality Assurance system in place thanks to recording tools such as daily cleaning schedules and an audit system for checking cleanliness.

Inspectors said: “The latest cleaning guidelines were printed and available beside the cleaning schedules, so staff can easily check areas if they are unsure.

“The staff are having hand hygiene monitored through the NHS Hand Hygiene Audit
tool. These improvements will help to minimise the likelihood of infection.

“The senior management are identifying areas for improvement through checking their schedules and audits.”

Managers also told inspectors they were working hard to identify any recurring problems, and that disciplinary action has been taken against an employee before they repeatedly failed to follow PPE guidance.

Inspectors noted that all areas of improvement had been met within the required timescales, and that no complaints have been upheld since the last inspection.


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