TWO dementia care homes in the town have been ordered to improve by the Care Quality Commission.

Abbey House and Ashbury Lodge Residential Home were both given the rating of ‘requires improvement’ following the publication of inspection reports this month.

In areas of safety, effectiveness, responsiveness and leadership both homes were told to improve, however, the care provided in both was deemed to be good.

The report was a massive blow to staff at Abbey House, run by Milestones Trust, as it was their first inspection since opening in August last year.

The CQC said in its report: “People’s care records were not always updated when their needs changed.Accidents and incidents were not always recorded in line with the provider’s policies and procedures.

“For example, we noted that an incident involving specialist equipment designed to support the home in reducing the risk of a person falling had been disconnected. The incident clearly stated what action had been taken by staff to mitigate any future occurrences of this happening. However, when we spoke with the registered manager about this they were unaware the incident had taken place. They told us, “That should have been reported to me. I wasn’t even aware that it had happened”.”

Inspectors did, however, add: “Throughout our visit we saw people were treated in a caring and kind way. The staff were friendly, polite and respectful when providing support to people. Staff took time to speak with people and reassure them, always making sure people were comfortable and had everything they needed before moving away.”

John Green, assistant director of dementia and eldercare at Abbey House believes staff have already addressed many of the issues raised.

“We were very pleased they recognised the quality of care but we were of course disappointed that we fell short of the high standards the residents and families should expect from us,” he said.

“There have been teething issues but giving high quality care is a priority and we have already taken steps to address things in the report.

“We really regret that some of these issues have gone on for so long but I am pleased to note that none of the families or residents have any concerns arising out of this report.”

Ashbury Lodge, which is run by Coate Water Care, had previously been inspected in April 2016 – again receiving a rating of requires improvement with four breaches of the regulations.

The CQC said in its latest report: “Some relatives told us that the home was not always as clean as they would like commenting ‘It’s kept clean but I have had to pull them up before about my relative’s room. They are meant to do a deep clean once a month but they don’t pull the bed out, it can be dirty, I have raised this’.

“We saw that hourly night checks were being completed for everyone in the home regardless of if people slept fine and did not need to be checked on an hourly basis. There was no consent sought or obtained for people or evidence that this had been discussed with people first to ensure they were happy to receive this level of supervision during the night. The approach taken had been a blanket approach to include everyone rather than a person centred approach.”

The CQC did praise the team on their respectful and supportive approach to caring for the residents.

Sue Houldey, operations director at Coate Water Care, said: "Ashbury Lodge has worked closely with CQC to ensure shortfalls in the service identified though the inspection process have been addressed. We have, since the inspection strengthened the management team.

"After the inspection we shared with CQC our action plan which addressed the issues which CQC identified. We have continued to keep all interested parties updated on progress against that plan.

"Throughout the process of improvement we have worked openly and transparently with colleagues in health, local authority and of course CQC. Many of the visits made by colleagues to our home have been unannounced and to date there have been no concerns raised.

"At Coate Water Care, we are passionate about providing the individualized care people need. We are confident that the changes made to systems will fully meet with the expectations of CQC at our next inspection."