Residents of a north-east care home were still left staring into space for large amounts of time – seven months after inspectors ordered staff to improve.
The Care Inspectorate inspected Spynie Care Home on Duffus Road, Elgin, last May and its report said inspectors “observed people being left by staff to aimlessly wander within one unit, without staff approaching them or speaking with them”.
It added: “Other people sat in chairs staring into space for long periods of time without staff interaction.”
Inspectors gave the home a “weak” rating – the second worst of six possible ratings – and put in place a requirement to “ensure service users’ recreational, social, creative, physical and learning needs are met in a manner which respects their preferences, wishes and choices”.
The requirement stated this must be done by August 24 but inspectors returned on December 19 and have now published a report which stated the requirement was not met and that some staff directly responsible for organising activities did not even know about it.
The report said: “The activity staff had not been made aware of this requirement.
“While the service had employed an additional part-time activity staff member, we could not evidence the service had met this requirement.
“Care plans had not been further developed to show what, or how, people could be involved in activities they enjoyed.
“At the time of the inspection there was no activity plan in place.
“We observed some people spent large amounts of time staring into space and not taking part in conversations with staff or each other.
“We were told getting out and about outside was an issue if people needed support to do so.
“This was a problem due to lack of time and staff availability.”
However, the home did meet three other requirements made after last May’s inspection.
The new report said a garden previously full of rubbish and a “potential hazard” had been cleared.
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“We found work had been carried out to the enclosed garden areas across all the units. They continued to be pleasant, clean and safe places for people to access outdoors and fresh air,” said the report.
Fire extinguishers, which had been previously moved around, were in fixed positions and improvements had been made to the previous “ad hoc” staff recruitment documents.
“We sampled some staff files and could see they were now following best practice,” said the report.
It added: “Residents said they were happy living in the home. They said the food was good.
“Some felt they were bored and we observed some people spent large amounts of time sitting without regular staff interactions.”
A spokesman for Spynie Care Home was not available for comment.