People using communal lounge at council-run Bedford care home were left in the dark with the lights off

The home in Avon Drive has been giving a rating of ‘requires improvement’
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A health watchdog has criticised Highfield care home and given it an overall rating of ‘requires improvement’.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) made two unscheduled visits to the council-run home last month (November) and has published its findings.

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Inspectors also said all five aspects it critiques – including safety and leadership – ‘required improvement’.

Highfield care home, in Avon Drive, BrickhillHighfield care home, in Avon Drive, Brickhill
Highfield care home, in Avon Drive, Brickhill

And the council has vowed to make changes, saying an action plan is already under way at the residential care home in Avon Drive, Brickhill.

The CQC report said: “One person had a nail protruding out of the floor behind their door and some masking tape on the floor of their door frame. We raised this on the morning of the inspection, but this was not actioned in a timely manner. An inspector had to make sure this issue was resolved later in the day before we left the service.”

The health watchdog also found:

People went for up to two hours without staff members coming to see how they were

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Several areas of the home were not clean and posed an infection

People were not always supported with kindness and compassion

The report said: “On one occasion people using the communal lounge were left in the dark with the lights off for an extended period of time without staff support.”

However, the report found there was enough staff to do the job and call bells were answered quickly, for example. Residents also felt safe, with one person telling inspectors, ''I feel very comfortable here. It is very secure, and staff look after me.''

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And despite the CQC’s findings, when staff did speak with people it was clear they treated people well and spoke with them in a calm and friendly manner, the inspectors said.

A Bedford Borough Council spokesperson said: “We have taken on board the feedback from the CQC and, as the report states, improvements have started to be put in place immediately.

“We were also pleased to note the positive feedback from people and relatives about their experience at Highfield, and the kind and dignified care received by people at the end of their lives.

“Highfield will continue to strive to improve with the goal of providing the best possible care to all residents.”

At its last inspection, the care home which cares for up to 34 people with physical disabilities or dementia, received a ‘good’ rating.