HEATHERCROFT Care Home in Woolston says it will ‘move away’ from nursing care after being placed in ‘special measures’.

Care Quality Commission inspectors rated the Longbarn Lane home ‘inadequate’ following their visit at the end of July. The facility was previously told that it ‘required improvement’ in April last year.

As well as its overall rating, Heathercroft was told it was inadequate in the inspection areas of safe and well-led and required improvement in the areas of effective, caring and responsive.

Among issues raised was the fact that staff were spotted incorrectly using PPE and that torn and worn floor coverings created trip hazards.

Ashberry Healthcare, which runs the home, has since offered a ‘wholehearted apology’ to residents and their families for the shortcomings.

Heathercroft is registered to provide care for up to 88 elderly residents, with two units caring for people with nursing and personal care needs and people living with dementia respectively.

In their report, inspectors said: “Daily care records were not maintained and did not evidence appropriate care provided, which exposed people to a risk of harm.

“During the inspection, we identified people who were at significant risk of harm and made safeguarding referrals to the council.

“The physical environment was clean and tidy, but some areas within bedrooms identified clear risks, with torn and worn floor coverings that created trip hazards.

“Recent visits by the local authority identified inconsistent use of PPE. Most staff wore masks during the inspection, but some walked around the building with the mask under their nose, which could pose potential risks.”

CQC inspectors added that they will continue to monitor the service to ‘keep people safe and to hold providers to account’, while discussions will be held with the care provider over how it will implement changes to ensure it improves its rating to ‘at least good’.

In response to the report, a Heathercroft spokesman said that the home was disappointed with the findings and that the process to rectify shortfalls is ‘well underway’.

They said: “We are exceptionally disappointed with the CQC’s findings and wholeheartedly apologise to our residents and their loved ones.

“Given the chronic UK-wide shortage of nurses, we have struggled to access the staff needed to make a transformative change to our nursing care service.

“We have therefore made the decision to concentrate on the areas of care where we can make a positive difference to people’s lives, and where we have a strong expertise to build on, particularly supporting individuals with dementia.

“As a result, the organisation is seeking to move away from general nursing services and, following this feedback from the CQC, we have agreed that we will no longer provide nursing care at Heathercroft.

“We know this will be difficult news for the residents and families affected, but we strongly believe this will be in the long-term best interests of everyone at the home.”

The spokesman went on to say: “We are committed to working with the affected residents, their families and our local health and care partners to ensure a smooth transition for the residents with nursing care needs.

“This process is now well underway, and our goal is to make sure the affected residents find a suitable new home that meets their individual needs and where they can be happy for the future.

“The majority of residents living with us will not be affected by this decision and will now benefit from our team being able to concentrate solely on our specialisms in residential and dementia care.

“As we already offer a high-quality service on the dementia unit at Heathercroft, we are confident our next CQC report will provide a much more positive picture about the overall quality of care we provide.”