CONCERNS over staff, medication and how risks were being assessed at a town care home prompted a surprise inspection by the national health watchdog.

Abingdon Court was rated as 'requires improvement' following a visit by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on September 24.

It found that there were issues over staff levels and the way medication was being managed.

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A report published last month based on a visit to the Marcham Road care home, which was looking after 61 elderly people at the time, stated: "The inspection was prompted in part due to concerns received about staff deployment, medicines management and care planning and risk assessments.

"A decision was made for us to inspect and examine those risks.

"We have found evidence that the provider needs to make improvements."

It said risks to people's safety and well-being were managed through a risk management process, but added: "However, the electronic care planning system was difficult to follow and at times had conflicting information.

"This meant people might not receive the right care specific to their needs."

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The report continued that inspectors found there were not always 'sufficient staff deployed' to meet people's needs in a 'meaningful way'. It added: "The area manager told us staff recruitment was ongoing and they would review staff deployment."

One medication, it said there were found to 'not always' be managed safely.

It explained: "We found some minor discrepancies in medicine records which were reviewed immediately by staff."

The report also said people’s access to activities needed to improve to 'prevent social isolation'.

Despite these concerns residents at the care home told inspectors they received 'safe care from skilled and knowledgeable staff'.

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It added: "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 policies and systems in the service supported this practice."

The report also said Abingdon Court was led by a new registered manager who was 'focusing on addressing concerns' and improving people’s care.

It added: "Some changes had been implemented to support effective team working and improve people’s outcomes.

"The provider had introduced a new quality assurance system to monitor the quality and safety of the service."

The service was previously rated good following an inspection published on November 20, 2018.