A CARE home has been put back in special measures after inspectors rated it as inadequate.

Eccleston Court Care Home was given the lowest possible rating by inspectors from the Care Quality Commission after making a visit over two days in June.

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The inspection had been planned after the home was graded as requires improvement in June 2018, which saw the facility taken out of special measures having previously been inadequate in November 2017.

In the latest inspection, the home was ranked inadequate in four out of five categories: safety; whether the service was caring; responsiveness and leadership.

Its effectiveness was rated as requires improvement.

In summarising their findings, inspectors noted: "Parts of the environment were unsafe putting the health and safety of people and others at risk".

It was also said "good practice was not always followed to minimise the spread of infection".

Inspectors said they were told by people "they had waited a long time for their call bells to be answered. One person told us they had waited over an hour on two occasions for staff to respond to their call bell".

They added: "Staff told us they felt under pressure and felt the staffing arrangements were disorganised".

It was said assessment documentation "lacked information about how people's needs were to be met".

St Helens Star:

Eccleston Court Pic: Google Streetview

While there was "no evidence people had been harmed" inspectors noted "a lack of robust record keeping placed people at risk of receiving ineffective care".

It was also said that there were "limited opportunities for people to express their views and make decisions about their care".

However, "people and family members commented positively about the caring attitude and approach of staff".

Inspectors said "feedback from people and family members and records showed they were not involved in the assessment

and care planning process" and people "were not always afforded choice and flexibility with regards to their care".

They also found: "People were not offered any form of stimulation through activities or meaningful conversations with staff".

Inspectors also said the manager, who took up the position in March, "lacked visibility across the service and did not communicate well" to residents and relatives.

It was added "complaints were not always responded to" and staff described morale on one unit as "low".

Following the findings of the CQC, Alison Tait, chief operating officer of older people’s services at Community Integrated Care, said: “We are dedicated to delivering safe, well-led, quality services. When CQC identified concerns at Eccleston Court, we took immediate action, developing a robust plan to resolve all issues.

"Together with our regional management, clinical governance and quality teams, we are working in close partnership with CQC, to give the service focused support in all necessary areas.

"As part of this work, we are currently reviewing the care home’s leadership structure and have appointed a new experienced registered manager with a nursing background to lead Eccleston Court, along with the implementation of new care and support processes across the service."

She added: "We would like to apologise to the people we support and their loved ones for the outcome of this inspection and assure them of our absolute commitment to restoring the service to the high standards we set for ourselves.”

A St Helens Council spokesperson said: "We are working with Eccleston Court Care Home to help them improve the service for residents.

"We are also working with CQC and have put a robust action plan in place which is frequently monitored to ensure good quality care is in place for all residents and families have peace of mind that their loved ones are getting the right support in a safe and caring environment."