THE quality of care homes run by a charity has shown ‘positive progress’ but still requires improvement.

That is the view of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after inspectors visited Enham Trust, in Enham Alamein, from January 7 to 9.

The inspection report, covering Michael, Elizabeth and William Houses and published this week, saw the charity upgrade its rating to ‘good’ in three categories.

However, two elements of its service were deemed not up to standard, giving an overall rating of ‘requires improvement’.

The two sub-par areas were the ‘safe’ and ‘well-led’ categories.

The report stated: “Some aspects of the service were not always safe and there was limited assurance about safety.

“Service management and leadership was inconsistent. Leaders and the culture they created did not always support the delivery of high-quality, person-centred care.”

Leadership issues noted included a lack of a registered manager in place, although two managers were in the process of becoming registered.

Another concern was 24 emergency lights that had been reported as faulty in February 2018. In November that number increased by eight and during the latest inspection it was found that no action had been taken to remedy the situation.

There was progress though in the ‘safe’ category.

The inspection found there were fewer concerns about response times. Most call bells were answered in under five minutes – a vast improvement on the 45 minutes reported in April 2018.

Such progress meant that despite the category receiving a ‘requires improvement’ rating, this was still better than the ‘inadequate’ verdict which was handed out after the last CQC inspection.

The charity had also acted on other criticisms, such as the emergency lighting issues, in the months since January’s inspection.

Heath Gunn, chief executive of Enham Trust, said: “I’m pleased to see that this report demonstrates positive progress in four out of the five domains.

“This is a reflection of the hard work our staff teams have put into improving the service we offer across our care homes and I am pleased their efforts have been recognised in this way.

“As with all regulatory inspections there is learning to be had, and following this report, we have further improved our maintenance systems, particularly in relation to emergency lighting.

“This report gives us a really good platform to work towards ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’ as an overall rating for our next inspection.”