A CARE home previously rated ‘inadequate’ was given a new rating of ‘requires improvement’ by Care Quality Commission.

The health and social care watchdog CQC’s inspectors visited Cherry Garth care home in Holmer Green run by The Fremantle Trust.

During the four-day inspection in December 2022 the care home, which looks after 28 people with dementia, mental health conditions, physical disabilities and sensory impairments, was rated as ‘requires improvement’ – the second lowest rating available.

The new inspection comes after the care home was placed in ‘special measures’ since February last year, which meant if the home didn’t improve within a specified timeframe, the provider could be prevented from operating.

As the care home is no longer rated ‘inadequate’, it is no longer in ‘special measures’, the CQC noted.

During inspections in August 2018, October 2019 and January 2022 the care home “failed to robustly ensure safe management of medicines”, which was a breach of Regulation 12 of Health and Social Care Act.

Relatives reported concerns about medicines incidents during the previous January 2022 inspection.

A relative told inspectors last year: “Events around medicines in the last few weeks; one event concerned tablets that…have gone missing, or [the person] may have been overdosed.”

Now the CQC found that “enough improvement had been made at this inspection”, meaning the provider was no longer in breach of Regulation 12.

The new report said: “At this inspection we found improvements had been made however, there remained areas where staff continued to not follow the medicines policy. For example, we saw staff drop a medicine on the floor and pick it up and administer it to the person. This was not in line with the service's policy.”

During previous inspection, relatives expressed concern about management of people’s risks.

A relative said last year: “[I] have been able to see things, like [the person's] legs being swollen and a suspicious rash that the staff seemed not to have picked up on."

During the new December inspection the care home was found to have improved in accidents and incidents reporting, the CQC said.

Both paper- based and electronic systems were in place for accident logging, and actions to be taken were recorded in the computer system. However, “they weren’t always finished, followed up or marked as complete,” the recent report said.

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During January 2022 inspection, people were “at risk from abuse, neglect and omissions of care,” including no effective measures to ensure staff knew how to recognised, prevent and report allegations of abuse, the CQC said. This was in breach of health and social care regulation.

During the latest inspection, the care home was found to have improved in safeguarding from abuse, and was no longer in breach of the regulation.

Previous concerns about staffing levels had also improved.

A relative said: “Staffing levels have improved…there is always room for more. Staff do interact more now.”

Another relative commented: “It seems to be a lot more staff now. [The person] used to be in pyjamas all day, and not being dressed. Now she is getting dressed and ready for the day."

The Fremantle Trust was contacted for a comment.