Medication errors and staffing levels raised at Perthshire care home


Medication errors and staffing levels have been brought under the spotlight at a Perthshire care home following an inspection in August.

Balhousie Dalnaglar, which provides care and support for up to 40 older people, is operated by the Balhousie Care Group.

The Care Inspectorate said: “Dalnaglar had reported a high number of medication errors in the three months prior to our inspection. We found that medication was not managed effectively to meet people’s care needs.

“We saw delays in the administration of medication and staff being constantly interrupted whilst undertaking the task which had the potential to impact on people’s health. Poor record keeping led to difficulty in determining if medication prescribed ‘as required’ was administered in the person’s best interests.”

The report also raised concerns about staffing levels at the service with the service being rated ‘Weak’ in its staff team category.

While praising the “kindness and warmth” of staff, the report added: “We were concerned about staffing levels on all shifts. There were times during the inspection that we did not see any staff available in the communal areas.

“There were also a number of agency staff working within the home. This meant that there was a lack of consistency with agency staff not always aware of people’s individual needs. Some residents also commented on the ‘number of different faces’.”

A spokesperson for Balhousie Care Group said: “We had already begun to implement improvement strategies at our Dalnaglar care home in Crieff prior to the Care Inspectorate’s August visit, since it was clear there was work to be done to address certain service aspects in the home. This work has continued in the three months since the August inspection, and involves a robust long-term plan, developed in close collaboration with the Care Inspectorate and key care industry bodies, to ensure that Dalnaglar provides the quality of care expected throughout Balhousie Care Group.

“We are delighted that Kath Beattie has joined us as Home Manager at Balhousie Dalnaglar and that new Operations Manager Sheilah Harvey is overseeing the home. Both are highly regarded care practitioners who bring a wealth of experience to their roles. We look forward to Kath and Sheilah continuing to work closely with our residents, family and staff members, and the local community in and around Crieff to continue to take Dalnaglar forward.”

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