A lack of staff at at extra care housing scheme led to residents and relatives raising concerns, a health watchdog report has said.

Meadow Walk, in Fakenham, was inspected by the Care Quality Commission between July 24 and August 8 and has been told it must make improvements in three of the five categories it was reviewed on.

Run by Housing 21, the facility comprises individual flats in one large building.

The inspection found that it was not always safe, not always responsive, and not always well-led - but was caring and effective.

This was Meadow Walk’s first inspection since opening in 2021.

It is a service which supported 25 people with personal care at the time of inspection.

Fakenham & Wells Times: Inside one of the homes in Meadow Walk, on Trinity Road in Fakenham.Inside one of the homes in Meadow Walk, on Trinity Road in Fakenham. (Image: NNDC)

The inspection highlighted a number of concerns - such as risk assessments not being used effectively, and the provider had not ensured risk assessments were in place for all identified risks. 

There was also concern around staffing overnight, which made people and their relatives 
feel unsafe at times.

One person told the inspectors: "I am vulnerable because if I am unwell after 8pm and the person on call is busy, I have been told to call an ambulance. I came here because I need support and when I need it, it may not be available." 

A relative said, "I have serious concerns about the staffing levels. One [staff member] on after 8pm is unacceptable."

Fakenham & Wells Times: The garden area in Meadow Walk, on Trinity Road in Fakenham.The garden area in Meadow Walk, on Trinity Road in Fakenham. (Image: NNDC)

The member of staff working overnight was always an agency worker who worked alone. 

The provider had struggled when it came to staffing due to recruitment challenges.

However, neither residents or relatives reported any missed care visits or said this affected the level of care.

The report praised staff as “caring, kind and respectful".

The watchdog will now request an action plan to improve the standards of quality and safety.

A spokesperson from Housing 21 said:  "The care team has taken the feedback and recommendations on board and will be working with the Care Quality Commission to address the identified areas for improvement.”