A COUNCIL-run care home has been ordered to improve after an inspection.

Oakmeadow Community Support Centre in Widnes has been told to improve following an unannounced inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

The two-storey residential support centre on Peelhouse Lane, which offers short-term care for adult requiring rehabilitation after illness or injury, was visited by inspectors in November.

Inspectors found that the care home’s environment was 'tired and uninviting' with communal areas left unused and corridors ‘feeling industrial rather than homely.

There was a 'lack of stimulation and organised activities to keep residents engaged', with many people living in Oakmeadow spending most of their time alone in their bedrooms.

Staff did not have time to speak with residents, telling inspectors that they would 'like to have more time to spend with people but their role required them to be task-orientated'.

Residents – of which Oakmeadow can house up to 19 – told the CQC that they 'did not feel they were consulted' over their care.

The care home had also had 'prolonged periods' with no registered manager.

But a new manager, who was appointed to the post four weeks before the inspection, had 'identified many areas for improvement and implemented an action plan'.

And staff were 'proud to work for the service and felt confident in the changes the manager was implementing'.

The CQC's report into Oakmeadow said: "The manager had identified that there were areas of the service that required improvement.

"They had devised an action plan that detailed the improvements, when they would be completed and by whom – the dates for completion of the action plan were no later than January 2019, with most being November and December 2018.

"All of the areas identified as requiring improvement in this report had already been identified by the manager on the action plan."

A spokesman for Halton Borough Council, which runs Oakmeadow, said: “Halton Borough Council always aims to provide the best care for the people who use our services.

”During the inspection, people who use Oakmeadow said that they felt safe and that staff were always there when they needed them.

“An action plan is in place to address the issues raised by CQC, and improvements are already underway - including the refurbishment of the centre and a review of activities.”