Barking patients ‘at risk’ from receiving wrong medicines

Efficiency-For-Care in Fortis House, Barking, was found to "require improvement" in a Care Quality C

Efficiency-For-Care in Fortis House, Barking, was found to "require improvement" in a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report. - Credit: Archant

Vulnerable residents in supported living are “at risk” of receiving the wrong medicines, inspectors found during a recent visit.

Efficiency-For-Care was found to “require improvement” in its provision for 20 adults living at Fortis House in Barking.

The service is “unsafe” and “not always effective”, concludes last month’s report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Staff do not always record the administering and prompting of medicines. There were “unexplained gaps” on one patient’s medicine sheets for July and August which should have been completed by carers.

“When dosage times are not clearly recorded people may receive their medicine at the wrong times which may cause serious harm,” the report warns.

A separate medical record sheet showing a list of medicines with dosages did not make clear if the medicine had been taken or refused.

The lack of effective system in place meant people were “at risk of not receiving their medicines correctly,” adds the report, noting that the senior management’s promise to address this “immediately”.

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The service also “lacks a robust recruitment process”, with one staff member employed despite not having a professional reference.

The report also found that the service was “not always well-led”, with quality assurance systems in place but “not always effective”.

However, staff working at the London Road building did have a “good understanding of the medical and health conditions of the people they supported”, with the right number of employees working there.

The service was also judged to be good in how caring and responsive it was to its users.

“People who used the service and their relatives told us that staff treated them with dignity and respect,” the findings from two visits in September and October noted.

“People and their relatives were involved in making decisions and the support they received.”

Efficiency-For-Care will have to improve in key areas before a follow-up inspection. The provider had not responded to a request for a comment by the time of print.