In November 2018, Healthwatch Southwark used their power of Enter and View to visit Southwark's only public nursing home, Tower Bridge Care Centre.
They spent six hours at the home over two days and spoke to 8 residents, 6 visitors and 10 staff members.
They are now pleased to be able to publish their report and recommendations for the home and its commissioners, along with their responses: Tower Bridge Report.
The team said, "Most residents we spoke to were positive about the nursing home, and most visitors were confident in the care provided. Most people said that staff were generally helpful and caring, and some individuals were highly praised. Staff we spoke to cared about their work and the residents. They reported taking part in a broad range of training and generally expressed confidence in current leadership, saying they felt able to raise any concerns.
However, several visitors mentioned varying quality of staff and of management oversight, combined with issues of low pay and stretched staffing, and a resident said they would like to chat more. We received mixed responses from staff about staffing levels and the time they have available to spend with residents. This is felt to be an issue across the care sector. The home has said they will review volunteering with a view to extending it.
Staff told us that most training was done online and several mentioned a need for more dementia training. Some challenging behaviour impacting on other residents was observed in a dementia unit. Staff also referred to residents fighting. A family raised concerns that manual handling equipment was not used properly. The responses to this report outline the staff training currently in place. We have since discussed with commissioners the changes in support to nursing homes (for example through the Care Home Intervention Team (CHIT)) as well as reviews of some clients' needs.
We observed the home's physical environment to be mainly safe, pleasantly decorated and clean. Efforts had been made to provide appropriate points of interest such as historical pictures, an internal garden and a hat stand. However, we noticed occasional less dementia-friendly elements, and items in disrepair, which the home tell us they have now addressed. We were also unsure of the security of the building - the home has moved the sign-in book in response to this".
Access the Tower Bridge Report and read the full article here.