Staff at a Hartshorne care home have been praised by residents, despite health watchdogs rating the venue as "requires improvement".

Health inspectors from the Care and Quality Commission published its report on Nether Hall on November 9 and, despite some heartfelt praise from some residents, the care home slipped below its previous "good rating".

The "requires improvement" rating is the third level out of four assessment ratings and one lower than the care home’s previous assessment of "good" in 2015. "Outstanding" is the top rating and "inadequate" is the poorest.

One resident told inspectors: "They are a good bunch and are always ready to help."

Nether Hall caters for up to 50 older people, some of which have dementia, with 31 residents currently living at the home in Netherhall Road.

The assessment rated the home as "requires improvement" across four of the five categories: safeness, effectiveness, responsiveness and how well-led it was, with the Nether Hall ranked "good" for its level of caring.

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Commission inspectors found fault with the level of staffing.

"People felt there was not enough staff to meet their needs," inspectors wrote. "People were not always able to engage with activities that interested them or have prompt care when this was needed."

However, they said: "Staff developed caring relationships with the people they supported which were respectful. Dignity and privacy was maintained at all times.

"Staff knew people well and understood how to provide the support people needed."

Nether Hall care home was rated requires improvement by CQC inspectors

One resident told inspectors: "It's wonderful. It's like being in a hotel and you couldn't get a better service. I'd definitely recommend this place and the staff are wonderful."

A spokesman for Nether Hall Care Home said that the feedback about the quality of its staff was pleasing but it was disappointed to be rated as "requires improvement".

A spokesman said: "We appreciate all feedback from the commission's report and, while we were disappointed to receive the 'requires improvement' rating, we have taken the comments seriously and are addressing them.

"We are confident that at our next inspection, we will regain the 'good' rating we held previously.

"We were pleased to read the feedback given about our staff from the residents in the report and the many positive comments from the inspector.

"Our team work incredibly hard and have lovely relationships with our residents, and we were glad the report recognised this."

What is the Care and Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission or CQC is the health watchdog, its inspectors visit GPs, nursing homes and hospitals throughout the UK and every four years provide an assessment on each establishment.

It may rate a provider outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate.

An inadequate rating sees the provider placed in special measures.

Inspectors then revisit the provider every six months and set strict improvement targets and often introduce hiring freezes.

If these improvements are not sufficiently met then the CQC may move to close the establishment.

Here is the overall summary from the full report

This inspection took place on September 20, 2017. The inspection was unannounced. Our last inspection took place in November 18, 2015, and, at that time, we found the provider was meeting the regulations we looked at and we gave an overall rating of "good".

Nether Hall provides residential and nursing care for up to 50 older people who may be living with dementia. At the time of our inspection, there were 31 people who used the service.

There was a registered manager in post. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the Care Quality Commission to manage the service.

Like registered providers, they are "registered persons". Registered persons have legal responsibility for meeting the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated Regulations about how the service is run.

People felt there was not enough staff to meet their needs. People would not always able to engage with activities that interested them or have prompt care when this was needed. Where people needed support to make decisions, it was not clear how decisions about people's capacity had been reached.

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New care plans had not always been completed to record how to provide safe care for them. Quality assurance systems were in place but these were not always effective and prompt action was not always taken to resolve identified issues.

Staff developed caring relationships with the people they supported which were respectful. Dignity and privacy was maintained at all times. Staff knew people well and understood how to provide the support people needed.

People received the medicines they were prescribed and there were systems in place to reduce the risks associated with them. They were supported to maintain good health and had regular access to healthcare professionals.

Mealtimes were not rushed and food and drink was regularly provided. Records were maintained for people who were nutritionally at risk.

People were kept safe by staff who could identify signs of abuse and knew where to report any concerns. Staff received training and support to enable them to fulfil their role effectively and were encouraged to develop their skills.

Complaints were managed within the provider's procedure and any concerns were resolved. Visitors were welcomed at any time and they were encouraged to provide feedback through meetings and surveys.

We found breaches of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. You can see what action we told the provider to take at the back of the full version of the report.