Mildenhall Lodge care home still requires improvements

Mildenhall Lodge
Image caption Mildenhall Lodge was opened by Care UK in 2012 and it has 60 older residents

Relatives of residents at a private care home had to help with meal times to make sure their family members were fed properly, a report has revealed.

Mildenhall Lodge, previously run by Suffolk County Council, was below standard in July, Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors found.

Another inspection in September showed action was still needed in areas of care and welfare.

Care UK, which has run the home since 2012, said progress had been made.

The latest CQC report said: "We noted that relatives came in to assist their family members with their meals.

Image caption Mildenhall Lodge is one of 10 new homes being built by Care UK to replace old local authority homes

"They told us they did this because they were concerned their family member would not receive their food on time.

"Staff confirmed to us that without this support they would struggle to meet the needs on this unit."

The Conservative-controlled council transferred 16 homes to Care UK in 2012.

The July inspection revealed the home was below standard in four out of five categories.

Opposition councillors were critical of the privatisation process with one calling the CQC report evidence of "treachery".

The latest inspection found two areas of concern but it meant the home was still below standard in three out of five categories.

Rachel Gilbert, regional operations director for Care UK, said: "We have taken feedback from our customers and made some changes to the timing of the mealtime delivery.

"We are confident we have the right numbers of staff in the building at all times."

Alan Murray, Conservative cabinet member for health and adult care at Suffolk County Council, said: "We will continue to challenge and support Care UK to ensure they continue to improve so residents who need specialist support receive the very best."

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