How the CQC monitors care homes in Swanage during the pandemic

Published: Friday 10th July 2020

During the coronavirus outbreak the Care Quality Commission has paused its routine in-person inspections of not just care homes in Swanage, but all care and nursing homes across the country.

Instead, the CQC has rolled out its COVID-19 Emergency Support Framework, to allow it to continue to closely monitor care providers, just in a more physically-distanced way.

Engagement and support calls

To minimise the risk of infection, the Commission has been connecting remotely with care homes in Swanage, making telephone calls instead of coming in to inspect.

These regular conversations – called ‘engagement and support calls’ – are designed to give inspectors a clear picture of how coronavirus is affecting a care home, its residents and the care it provides.

The calls help the CQC monitor risk, identify where care homes may need extra support and make sure they are delivering safe care.

Our Swanage care home – Gainsborough – received a very positive summary from the CQC following its engagement and support call.

The call covered four assessment areas:

  • Safe care and treatment – covered infection prevention and control, equipment levels, and how medicines and risks are managed
  • Staffing – looked into whether Gainsborough has enough staff and plans in place to manage shortfalls
  • Protection from abuse – covered the home’s ability to protect its residents and respond to any safeguarding incidents
  • Assurance processes, monitoring and risk management – looked at staff health, safety and wellbeing, plus systems, records and partnership working

Key points from the report

The CQC noted that Gainsborough had boosted its domestic staff numbers and that there was a greater emphasis on infection prevention and control.

Care staff felt supported and there had been no issues with the levels of staffing during the pandemic or getting the supplies they needed. In fact, staffing levels had resulted in the care team being able to spend time reassuring residents.

The CQC reported that monitoring systems and record-keeping at Gainsborough remained in place and at the right levels, unaffected by COVID-19.

Registered manager Louise van Dorn told the CQC that she and the team felt supported by Agincare’s management and had frequent contact with the local authority.

Fish pond at our Swanage care home

Rising to the challenges of COVID-19

Gainsborough is a stone’s throw from the Jurassic Coast, within easy reach of the town centre. It’s a comfortable Swanage residential care home, with a compassionate and professional team dedicated to caring for the home’s residents.

The Gainsborough team has risen to the challenges posed by lockdown. They’ve worked hard to keep residents’ spirits up during the coronavirus outbreak, while adhering to strict hygiene and PPE protocols. Activities have made the most of the spacious home and its lovely garden.

Social media has become a part of daily life at the home. The team uses Facebook to keep family and friends updated on what’s happening at Gainsborough, and uploads photos frequently to illustrate all the activities residents have been enjoying.

And as one of the dementia care homes in Swanage, the Gainsborough care team is experienced in providing compassionate and supportive care for people living with dementia. Residents particularly enjoy the regular ‘memory boxes’ of finds and treasures, which provide a focus for conversations and reminiscence.

Louise van Dorn summed up how the team was meeting the challenges of COVID-19:

I’ve been so impressed by the positive attitude and dedication of the team here, especially during the coronavirus outbreak. Of all the care homes in Swanage, the team spirit at Gainsborough is strong – it feels like a family here.