CONCERNS have been raised about a care home where staff left residents ‘for several minutes’ during a fire alarm.

Lever Edge Care Home had previously been rated ‘inadequate’ by the care watchdog.

At the latest inspection, officers noted that improvements had been made, but concerns were raised surrounding fire safety.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said: “During breakfast the fire alarm was activated. Though staff followed company policy this meant that people who used the service were left alone for some time.

“We observed that some people were anxious and worried with the noise of the alarm and for the length of time it rang.”

Following the incident, the CQC asked Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue to help the home carry out fire drills in future.

Lever Edge in Lever Edge Lane, Great Lever is run by Hill Care, which has 37 care homes across the country.

At its inspection in November 2018 it was rated inadequate and inspectors found an overpowering stench of urine and faeces-stained sheets.

The report published this month rates the home as ‘requires improvement’, showing efforts made to bring the care home up to scratch.

The care home was previously under fire in 2016 when staff were found to have covered up the death of a resident. Ronald Dean, aged 86, was placed back in his bed by staff who were found guilty of obstructing the coroner at Bolton Crown Court.

Inspectors noticed a good level of training among staff and praised the quality of the food on offer to residents.

The CQC found staffing levels to be acceptable on the day they visited but talking with residents they found some were concerned about being left alone.

One resident told them: “I think some days there seems to be enough staff but other days there’s not a lot going on; not many of them about.”

A spokesman for Hill Care said: “We are pleased CQC inspectors have recognised significant improvements made in all areas of the care and service we provide for our residents.

“The report stated: “people told us they felt safe” and “well cared for”, which is our highest priority.

“Providing a safe, comfortable and caring environment for those who reside with us has always been central to everything we do.

“We have worked closely with the CQC and Bolton Council Quality Assurance and Improvement team to ensure we are meeting these core values. We have also taken a close look through the CQC report and have already addressed the minor issues raised.

“We look forward to our next inspection.”