The new boss of a Blackpool care home which was once branded unsafe has hailed a ‘very positive’ inspection report after it was taken out of special measures.
The Hollins Bank Care Home, on Lytham Road, has been refurbished since it was taken over amid the fall-out of a damning Care Quality Commission (CQC) report last year.
A suspension, barring it from accepting new residents, that was imposed under the previous regime – when it was the Orchard Lodge – has now been lifted.
Operations director Frank McGuinness, who specialises in taking over failing care homes, said: “It is a massive turnaround. Everything is very positive.
“We are very proud of the place, which we certainly weren’t when we took it over on August 10.”
Just three months after the takeover, CQC inspectors visited the home, in South Shore, and heard staff had noticed a ‘100 per cent’ improvement.
Despite an overwhelmingly positive report, inspectors judged the home still ‘requires improvement’ – in part because not enough time had passed since the last damning verdict.
The CQC also asked bosses to take action to improve recruitment procedures after it found one member of staff working before the required criminal background checks had taken place.
Mr McGuinness added: “If you look at the history, when it had five ‘inadequates’ (across the inspection categories), to move it forward to five ‘requires improvements’ is a massive improvement in three months. I have never seen the CQC move any category from ‘inadequate’ to ‘good’ in one move.
“The atmosphere and feeling in the home is so welcoming and homely. The residents love being there.
“We haven’t had a single sick day since October. The staff have really put themselves out there to get this place to where it needs to be.
“The CQC in the Preston office and Blackpool Council have been incredibly supporting – everything we have asked for, they have given us.”
The report found staff at the home were ‘friendly, respectful and caring’. It also found resident were not deprived of their liberty, after a previous report blasted the old management over locks installed on the outside of bedroom doors.
The report also praised staff, including one person who volunteered to take a resident to church on their day off. It said: “Staff were very caring because they went the extra mile.”
It also welcomed improved staffing levels.