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Actors’ care home ‘mismanaged’ prescriptions

Actors’ care home Denville Hall has been criticised for mismanaging the drug prescriptions for many of its residents, in a report that states “safe and effective arrangements” have not been in place regarding medicines.

The home, in the north-west London suburbs, whose residents have included Richard Attenborough and Dulcie Gray, has been accused of failing to administer drugs as prescribed. It has also been accused of neglecting to protect people from the “risks associated with medicines because the provider did not have the appropriate arrangements in place for recording, handling, dispensing and safe administration”.

According to the Care Quality Commission, which is the regulator tasked with checking whether hospitals and care homes are meeting standards and which conducted the investigation, Denville Hall must now provide a report into what action it will take to address the concerns raised. Following this, the CQC will check that improvements have been made. If they have not, a formal warning would be served on the home.

The CQC carried out an inspection of the home in September, following an investigation in July that identified issues with the way medicines were managed. It found that “safe and effective arrangements were not in place to ensure that people were receiving their medicines
as prescribed”.

Denville Hall responded to the July visit by stating it had since taken action and made improvements, but the CQC’s inspection last month – which looked at the recording and storage of medicines – found there were “omissions in records” and problems with record accuracy.

The report revealed that, although previous concerns had been addressed, several residents were being given incorrect dosages and that “people were not always receiving medicines as prescribed”, something the home put down to agency staff.

Despite this, the CQC found that medicines were given out with “patience and gentle encouragement”.

Lalla Ward, chair of Denville Hall, said the CQC had been “fantastically supportive” and that the inspection had coincided with a day which saw agency staff working at the home. She added: “We realised we did have a fairly minor medication error, but that is what the CQC is for. Everything else we were compliant on.”

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