A south Bucks care home has been rated as requiring improvement after an unannounced inspection visit by a care watchdog in January in response to “information of concern” it had received about the service, including reports of understaffing.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission found the service at Woodland Manor Care Home, in Chalfont St Peter, was not always safe, with people’s medicines “not managed and administered safely”, and there were concerns about the care home being understaffed, which meant people did not always get the “required assistance” they needed.

Residents said that while staff at the 64-room care home were responsive to their call bells being answered, there was a delay in their care being met, with one commenting: “Staff are rushed off their feet – they come to turn off my call bell but are not able to provide the assistance I need at that time.”

Evidence of this was seen when one person, who was on a pureed diet, was left to eat unsupervised which inspectors said could suggest they could be at risk of choking.

They saw another resident calling out for help for around 10 minutes but staff were not available to assist and did not hear them.

However individual staff members were praised by both residents and their relatives, who described staff as “compassionate, patient, kind, enthusiastic, genuinely caring, so amazing, professional, genuine and always helpful”.

They also said the home had a “happy and welcoming” atmosphere.

Inspectors further found that people were involved in making decisions about their care, however the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 were not followed for people who “lacked mental capacity”.

The report also highlighted that the service was not always well led, with people’s records not “suitably maintained” and there was no registered manager in place to oversee things.

However an interim manager was in post and had “started to bring about positive changes” to the service, inspectors said.

The full report can be viewed at www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-2397990471.