A CARE home run by a charity for people with learning difficulties has been criticised by a health watchdog over a string of safety failures.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated Milton Heights as 'requires improvement' following an inspection last month.

Run by national charity Hft and based at Potash Lane, in Milton, near Didcot, the facility provides accommodation and personal care for up to 25 people with learning disabilities and autism across six homes.

ALSO READ: PC Harper's widow says public support 'pulled grieving family out of darkness'

Issues raised at the care home included records not being properly available to agency staff and that residents had been put at potential risk due to regular fire safety checks not being carried out 'consistently'.

A CQC report published on November 15 stated the campus setting 'does not meet current best practice guidance' but this was mitigated as the charity was in the process of finding alternative accommodation for people to address this.

It added:"At the last two inspections we found that people's accommodation needed improvements. At this inspection, the required improvements had been made."

The report stated, however, that systems and processes to monitor the 'safety of the environment' had 'not been used consistently'.

It explained: "This included weekly and monthly checks to ensure the safety of each of the premises such as fire and water safety."

ALSO READ: Murder investigation DROPPED as police fail to find evidence

Issues were also raised over records, with the report stating: "People’s up to date records were not always available in a format for non-permanent staff to refer to. Medicine records and checks were not always managed safely.

"However, people received their medicines as prescribed and the service had safe medicine storage systems in place."

Despite these concerns the watchdog's report added: "People and relatives told us they felt the service had a positive culture with good outcomes and staff said they felt supported."

A smaller facility, meanwhile, also run by Hft and located at the Potash Lane site was visited again by CQC inspectors last month to check staff were complying with a warning notice served after a May inspection found the it had also put people at risk of harm with bosses failing to carry out proper safety checks or fire drills.

A report published this month said new systems had been put in place at No 3 and 4a Milton Heights, which houses five people with learning disabilities, and 'staff morale' had improved.

The document added: "The provider and manager had taken steps to improve the service and ensured people received safer care."

FULL STORY: Care home bosses told to improve

It confirmed the warning notice had been lifted but the low rating could not be upgraded until a full inspection took place.

The charity’s website states ‘everything’ it does is centred on the people it supports.

It added: “Our Fusion Model of Support ensures that we focus on the specific needs of each individual, being creative about the kind of personal care and support we offer.

“We work hard to understand their changing needs and provide services and support that make a real difference to their lives.”