Second manager of Mowat care home under investigation from nursing watchdog

A second manager from the Mowat care home is being investigated
A second manager from the Mowat care home is being investigated
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A SECOND manager of a Scottish care home, condemned in a scathing report by the Care Inspectorate., is being investigated by the nursing profession’s watchdog.

Ian Anderson, who was manager of the Mowat care home at Stonehaven until December 2011, has had his ability to practice restricted by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for 18 months while a detailed investigation is launched into the allegations made against him.

It was revealed last week that Pamela Tavendale, who succeeded Mr Anderson as manager of the care home, has been suspended from the nursing profession after being labelled a potential “risk and danger to the public.” Ms Tavendale has been banned from working as a nurse for 18 months while the NMC carries out a separate investigation into the allegations made against her.

The family of one of the residents, Gladys Burr, 89, has accused the care home, run by Colchester-based Care UK, of causing the premature death of Mrs Burr after she had been allegedly illegally restrained and needlessly drugged.

The NMC has imposed a conditions of practice order on Mr Anderson following a hearing in November last year.

A determination, issued by the NMC’s disciplinary panel, states that the order has been imposed “to enable the NMC to conduct a full and proper investigation.”

According to the panel’s determination, the allegations against Mr Anderson concern medication management, falls management, the failure to address the concerns of residents’ families and Mr Anderson’s alleged failure to adequately implement or record appropriate action taken with respect to the complaints.

The report states: “The Care Inspectorate report concluded that residents were not receiving the proper or expected treatment and care. During their investigation they concluded that the over medication of one of the residents, aimed at lowering their agitation state, could have added to the likelihood of their subsequent fall.”

According to the determination, the NMC’s regulatory legal team claimed that the allegations “raise serious concerns over the treatment and well being of residents at the care home” and that these applied while Mr Anderson was manager.

The lawyer acting for Mr Anderson argued at the hearing that much of the Care Inspectorate report dealt with matters in 2012 and that Mr Anderson had left the care home in December 2011.

But the determination continues: “The panel had concerns arising from the Care Inspectorate report and the issues it dealt with during (Mr Anderson’s) tenure as manager at the care home in 2011. In addition there were several references to interviews with staff which alleged poor practice and which appeared to be of long standing. The panel noted that the residents are frail and vulnerable some with severe long term mental health problems, and that as manager (Mr Anderson) was responsible overall for their care and accountable for the clinical practice of the staff. “

He had overall responsibility for medicine management and incidence of falls within the care home. And the determination continues: “The panel had serious concerns over the apparent long standing practice of inappropriately positioning of residents whilst in bed, which effectively prevented any movement. It also appeared the staff were unaware of policy and guidance or other best practice in relation to ensuring the safety of residents who were at risk of falling or sustaining injury.

“The panel concluded (Mr Anderson) showed a lack of appreciation of the significance in relation to the frequency of falls and the potential relevance of the effects of medication. Therefore the panel concluded that there is a risk of repetition and given (his) role as a manager this could lead to serious patient harm.

“Having regard to the aforementioned concerns arising from the incidence of falling and the allied medication issues, these give rise to concerns in the minds of the panel that (Mr Anderson) lacks appreciation of the significance of these matters to (his) role as a manager. Coupled with apparent dilatory action on complaints, the panel concluded that there is a real risk of repetition and harm to vulnerable patients. The panel therefore concluded that some form of interim order is necessary on the grounds of public protection.”

Frances Gibson, Care UK’s Director of Nursing, said: “Following the Care Inspectorate report, we conducted our own internal investigation and, as a result, reported the former manager’s conduct to the NMC as well as that of the manager at the time.”

She continued: “Mowat Court is now run by an experienced manager with an excellent track record. She has led a transformation in the home which now has a settled, highly committed and well trained team. We were pleased to welcome another visit from the Care Inspectorate late last year to review our progress. Whilst we haven’t seen the draft report yet, we are confident that it will provide evidence that Mowat Court is improving.

“We are clear that the change in leadership, combined with the removal of short term agency staff, has been by far the best way to make sure that the quality and continuity or care at Mowat Court meets the needs of residents and the standards which residents, their families and the Care Inspectorate demand. We have a dedicated and committed team in place, who are valued and appreciated by residents and who have the support of Care UK’s leadership.”