A CARE home whose practices were described as putting people at risk of harm has been told it requires improvement by a health regulator.

Ventress Hall Care Home, on Trinity Road, Darlington, cares for people with a dementia type illness and was caring for 75 residents at the time of its latest inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in August.

The CQC said its inspection was prompted after a person using the service sustained an injury and concerns were raised about medicines and the management of skin care and wounds.

Ventress Hall, previously rated 'good' in 2017, was rated on whether it is safe and well-led but was told it requires improvement in both areas.

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The inspection report read: "Risks around skin integrity and wound management were not always safely managed.

"Systems were not in place to monitor the progression of wounds, and procedures were not always robust enough to record if people had received appropriate care. This placed people at risk of harm.

"Medicines were not always administered as prescribed, and systems to manage medicines were not always robust."

The CQC also said leaders at the care home "did not always demonstrate the necessary knowledge, experience and oversight to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people who used the service".

"Service management and leadership was inconsistent. Leaders and the culture they created did not always support the delivery of high-quality, person-centred care.

"Relatives and professionals told us communication could be improved," the report added.

The CQC said it had spoken to relatives who claimed "I always have to phone and ask for an update", and "It is always me who initiates the calls."

However, residents interviewed by inspectors said they felt "safe and well cared for". One person told inspectors: "I love it here, the staff are all fantastic.

"It feels like home and staff treat me well."

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The service was praised for preventing and controlling infection and the "positive atmosphere" among staff was praised during the coronavirus pandemic.

Care UK, which manages Ventress Hall, said it has already put a plan in place to improve and rectify an issues raised.

A spokeswoman said: “We are sorry that some aspects of the service we provide at this home have fallen below the high standards we expect and residents deserve.

"A comprehensive action plan was put in place as soon as we received the draft report from the CQC inspectors and we are confident the matters raised are in the process of being put right.

"We were pleased the inspectors noted how residents said they felt safe and well cared for, the home had a calm atmosphere and all elements of the infection control measures were safely met.”

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