A care home continues to require improvement following a recent unannounced inspection.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) concluded Alexandra House in Harlow ‘requires improvement’ overall — its second lowest rating — due to slight issues with the service safety and how well-led it is.

In the inspections, which took place on July 29 and August 3 and 4, the CQC reported that staff were responsive during their visit but found that there were some complaints about the home being “short staffed”.

Some staff members had told the inspectors they could not take a break and the CQC concluded there were enough staff to provide basic care, but not enough to meaningfully engage with people.

Those being cared at the site said they felt safe and free of risk from abuse by staff. In the report, it was said there was a concern with some care plans, which did not always state clearly people’s preferences and needs to get up.

Overall, the rating remained the same as it was in the previous inspection on May 15, 2019, as it was stated not enough improvement had been made. Inspectors spoke with people at the home, relatives and staff to make their conclusion and another inspection is set to happen soon.

Alexandra House, like other care homes across the country, had to undergo many changes to visiting restrictions and general risk assessments during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The CQC said these changes were in place and the new visitor’s protocol was good.

A spokesperson from Runwood Homes, which owns the site, said: “The team thoroughly understands the improvements outlined in a recent inspection and immediately begun implementing a robust plan to develop and enhance the service to reach and maintain the high standards that we and others would normally expect.

 “A new manager had already commenced this work in advance of the inspection and can confirm that this work is progressing rapidly with significant improvements noted.

“We look forward to welcoming the regulator back to Alexandra House and thank the manager and whole staff team for their ongoing support for our residents.”