COUNCILLORS will meet to determine the future of a care home which was slammed by the healthcare watchdog for putting vulnerable people at risk.

Birchwood Care Home in Newbury received a damning report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which said residents were 'not safeguarded from abuse'.

The inspection, which was carried in September, came after an allegation from a member of the public about potential abuse and safety concerns.

West Berkshire Council's overview and management commission will meet on Tuesday evening after several breaches were identified and the facility was rated 'Inadequate'.

A council spokesman said: "The council took over Birchwood in June when it had ‘Requires Improvement’ status and promptly identified further areas of concern which also needed tackling.

"We are already implementing a clear action plan to not only bring standards at Birchwood in line with our other care homes, which are all rated ‘Good’, but also to offer ten step down beds to help speed the recovery of people who would otherwise have to stay in a hospital.

"However, this will take longer than the four month period on which the CQC have judged.

"We are obviously disappointed with the judgement but acknowledge that there is work to be done to bring Birchwood up to our own high standards.

"We look forward to the next inspection and we expect many of our planned improvements to be well established by then. "

Inspectors were particularly critical of Birchwood's leadership and responded to intelligence after complaints about poor management and failure to report incidents.

Birchwood was rated 'Inadequate' in three of the five key areas of assessment and required improvement in the effectiveness and caring categories.

The inspection report added: "People were not kept safe. Risk assessments and comprehensive documentation was not in place to ensure people were offered responsive safe care and treatment.

"Staff did not appropriately record information. Incidents were not reported, and information was not accurately updated in daily records.

"We found that the service did not have adequate management and leadership. Staff we spoke with raised concerns about the registered manager's ability to oversee the service."