A CARE home has been told it requires improvement after an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Poplars in Braintree received an overall “requires improvement” rating in safety and well-led, two of the five key areas. The inspection was carried out as part of the CQC’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. It is looking at the preparedness of care homes in relation to infection prevention and control.

Poplars provides personal care for people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions. The service was also told it required improvement at its last inspection in 2019.

The report said: “People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests; the policies and systems in the service supported this practice.

“The registered manager had only been at the service for six months and since their arrival they had focused on keeping people safe from risks related to Covid-19. Despite this, they had already made excellent progress in addressing the concerns we found at our last inspection.

“There was a largely new and enthusiastic staff team who were still settling into the service.

“Further time was needed to ensure improvements continued and were sustained.

“There were effective measures in place to prevent the risk of infection.

“The provider and registered manager were positive about learning lessons following the Covid-19 outbreak and continued to drive improvements to keep people safe.”

The inspection did find that a number of improvements had been implemented.

The report added: “At our last inspection we found there was no oversight of incidents and accidents and a lack of quality monitoring. At this inspection, we found a new set of quality tools had been introduced.

“We found there was a lack of systems and processes to ensure risks to people had been fully assessed and planned.”

“The new registered manager had revised people’s care plans, with the input of specialist professionals.

“There were new personalised behaviour action plans which highlighted what might trigger or cause distress and provided guidance on distraction techniques staff could use.”