STAFF at Cheriton Nursing Home, which was slammed by the health watchdog last month, were ‘unnerved’ by the scrutiny of inspectors.

A report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published in December found performance had nosedived at the care home in Westlecot Road, Old Town, which passed with five stars during a November 2012 inspection.

There were signs of decline at the home in April 2013, when action was needed to restore care and welfare for people who use the home’s services to the correct level.

In the latest report, based upon an October 16 inspection, inspectors found improvements were required across four of the five categories assessed by the CQC.

Natalie Bonner, operations manager of the Cleeve Care Group, which owns Cheriton, said: “I don’t think the staff were on top of their game. They were very nervous of the inspectors being in the home. All our staff have to go through a 12-week induction training programme, with one week’s mandatory training before they are even let into the home. All the staff are very well trained and skilled.

“Usually they speak with the residents every day and act quite friendly with them, but I think, on the day the inspectors came in, it was a very in-depth, 11-hour observation by some very experienced experts. All the procedural bits were there, but when you are being observed, it’s difficult. It really did unnerve them.”

No staff were dismissed or resigned as a result of the report, according to Natalie, who also said neither the residents nor their families have raised any concerns about the home’s practices of the home.

In the CQC report, inspectors drew attention to shortcomings in the respect given to residents and in meeting their nutritional needs.

The records and documentation at the home were judged to require attention, as too was the support offered to workers by management.

There were also issues around the requirements relating to workers at the home, some of whom were found to possess inadequate English skills, though Natalie said this claim was unfounded.

As a result of the report, the home was expected to file an action plan with the CQC on how it plans to tackle the shortcomings identified.

Natalie said this has now been implemented. The CQC will perform another inspection within the next 12 weeks.