A CARE home has been told it requires improvement after an unannounced inspection by the health watchdog.

Ponteland Manor Care Home, run by Care UK Community Partnerships, was inspected in February this year by the Care Quality Commission.

The care home, at Thornhill Road, was previously rated as 'Good' following an inspection in December 2019.

Inspectors found during the most recent inspection testing for Covid-19 "was not always taking place in line with government guidance", and that "safe infection prevention and control (IPC) practices were not always followed by staff".

The inspection report also said: "Although arrangements were in place for people to receive indoor visits from relatives or friends, this did not fully align with government guidance."

It added "medicines were not managed safely" and said "analysis of accidents and incidents were not always taking place to assess if any learning from incidents could be made to reduce the risk of repeat incidents".

Risk assessments were not in place for all risks people were exposed to, inspectors said.

However, the inspection found systems were in place to safeguard people from abuse and there were enough staff deployed to meet people's needs.

The report added: "During the inspection staff responded to people quickly.

"People and their relatives were complimentary about staff and of the care provided."

One relative told inspectors: "The experience of the staff and manager is excellent, they are thoughtful, caring and helpful. They go the extra mile, they genuinely care."

The CQC has requested an action plan from Ponteland Manor Care Home, and will continue to monitor information received about the service.

Care UK regional director Samantha Rogan said: “We pride ourselves on providing high quality, kind and safe care to all residents.

"We accept that there were some lapses in our processes at this home when the inspectors came to the home in February but I’d like to reassure everyone that we put an action plan in place after their visit and we’ve already seen some notable improvements.

"I am sorry for this dip in standards - quality care is our utmost priority and residents are at the forefront of everything we do. 

"I will work closely with the team on the implementation of the remaining items on the action plan which includes addressing the overcrowding of the car park and the accuracy of record keeping. 

"I’m confident these measures will make sure that the former high standards are reached and maintained.”