An investigation which ranked Derbyshire County Council in the UK's bottom three for its care home services has been slammed by a top councillor.
The consumer group Which? analysed statistics from health watchdog the Care and Quality Commission (CQC) and ranked each of the 54 care home providers running at least 12 sites each across England.
It placed Derbyshire in the bottom three for the number of homes it has which require improvement or are inadequate, the two lowest out of four possible assessment ratings.
Inadequate is the lowest possible rating.
Which? claimed that half of the county council's homes were "failing" with 10 out of 20 falling into the two lowest rating brackets, below both good and outstanding.
However, Derbyshire Tory county councillor Jean Wharmby, the cabinet member for adult care, told the Burton Mail that she was "disappointed" in the investigation, which she said was "out of date".
She said that eight of the authority's homes are rated as requiring improvement, and none were rated as inadequate - the lowest ranking - a bracket worse than requires improvement and usually handed out if inspectors have significant concerns over potentially harmful failures or practices.
Councillor Wharmby also said that three of the county council's care homes were overdue for inspections.
She said: "The information that Which? have based their findings on is out of date and I’m disappointed that it does not reflect the current situation.
"Eight of our 22 homes are rated as requiring improvement. We have no homes that are rated as inadequate.
"There is a huge difference between an overall rating of requires improvement – which may relate to failing to keep paperwork up to date and not be a reflection on the quality of care provided to residents - and inadequate which usually relates to significant concerns about the quality of care offered or a failure to complete a recommendation from a previous inspection.
"Inspections are overdue on three of the homes rated as requiring improvement, including one that was last inspected 16 months ago.
"We would be keen for the CQC to visit as soon as possible as we are confident that the measures we have already put in place should be reflected in the next inspection.
"Our residential care homes are a top priority and we are committed to making sure they are the very best.
"Since we took control of the council in May 2017 we have carried out a review of all our homes and have put in place measures to improve them.
"I am confident that all our homes are providing high quality care and that our residents are safe, happy and well looked after.
"This is reflected by the fact that our homes have high rates of occupancy and in the positive feedback we receive from our residents and their families."
Which? also stated that while care homes rated poorly overall are meant to be re-inspected more regularly, several of the worst-rated have not been inspected in more than a year.
If a home is placed in special measures, which can happen in some cases when it has been deemed inadequate, an inspection is required within six months.
Which? found that a quarter of all homes for the over 65s were "failing" and there are 77,000 beds for older people in "sub-standard" homes.
The consumer group also found that 40.5 per cent of homes with 120 beds or more are currently rated inadequate or requiring improvement.