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A surprise inspection allayed watchdog fears

A local care home has retained its good rating – despite a surprise inspection after concerns were raised about night-time care.

A Care Quality Commission report into Astbury Mere Care Home said the watchdog body had received “concerns” in relation to the care provided to people during the night. As a result, a focused inspection was carried out to review the key questions of safe and well-led only.

This inspection was unannounced and the first day of the inspection was undertaken out of normal working hours. Inspectors found the service provided good care and rated its leadership as good.

The inspection looked at infection prevention and control measures – areas looked at in all care home inspections even if no concerns or risks have been identified – and found no evidence that people were at risk of harm.

The inspectors found that risks to people’s health and wellbeing were identified, monitored and reviewed. This included where people needed support with prescribed medicines or had diagnosed health conditions requiring specific plans of care. Staff were recruited safely, and staffing levels were safe.

People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests.

The care home was “visibly clean” and well maintained.

The service was well-led, and staff felt supported. The service worked with other professionals and organisations to ensure “positive outcomes” were achieved for people.

One family member said: “The care staff are marvellous. I am really happy. (Name) recently started to have seizures. Staff got their medicines sorted and I am really happy how they responded.”

The inspectors were told that staff were busy at certain times of the day but “attentive to their needs” if residents used their call bell for assistance.

People said they were happy living at the home and received person-centred care.

One person said: “It has been brilliant. Staff are like a happy family. They know I like milky Earl Grey tea in the mornings.”

Family members also said they were happy with the quality of care people received and felt staff knew people well.

The last rating for this service was good, in 2018.

The home is owned by Porthaven Care Homes.

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