NEARLY a quarter of care homes in Blackburn with Darwen are not up to standard, a Lancashire Telegraph investigation has found.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) ratings show that of the 35 rated care homes across Blackburn with Darwen, more than 22 per cent were failing their service users.

Seven care homes - 20 per cent - were told they require improvement in their services, and one was rated inadequate.

A total of 25 - 71 per cent - were rated good, but just two were given the highest outstanding rating.

Of the outstanding care homes, two were in Blackburn, EachStep Blackburn and Longfield Residential Home.

In the rest of East Lancashire, 80 per cent of care homes were rated as good or outstanding, with 20 per cent requiring improvement.

Here we reveal all the care home ratings across East Lancshire. Click on the links below to find out how care homes near you are performing.

CARE HOME RATINGS: The best care homes in Blackburn with Darwen - January 2019

CARE HOME RATINGS: Underperforming care homes in Blackburn with Darwen - January 2019

CARE HOME RATINGS: The best care homes in East Lancs - January 2019

CARE HOME RATINGS: Underperforming care homes in East Lancs - January 2019

CARE HOME RATINGS: Every care home in Burnley - January 2019

Cllr Brian Taylor, executive member for health and adult social care at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said that although none of the homes were commissioned by the council, they would try to work with the private providers to drive improvements.

He blamed funding and staffing issues for wider problems with care homes across the country.

He said: “Adult social care funding is becoming more of a Cinderella.

“Our parents and grandparents rely on care homes.They will want the best, not the worst, from our care homes.

“There are funding and staffing issues at care homes due to a lack of government funding.”

County Cllr Graham Gooch, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for adult services, said the number of good or outstanding homes in East Lancashire had risen since 2016.

Cllr Gooch said: “In 2016, 63 per cent of care homes in East Lancashire were rated as good or outstanding. As of early 2019, this figure stands at 80 per cent, which is a significant improvement

“This shows our drive to improve all care homes, which has involved care home owners, the NHS, the CQC and our contracts team, is paying off. We still have more work to do, but we are confident we are making clear and steady progress.”

“It’s important that care homes provide the very best level of support to the people who live here and their families. CQC ratings and inspections are important as they help to keep standards high.

“We work closely with the CQC to support providers that need to make improvements following an inspection.”

Joanne McHugh, manager of Longfield Residential Home, which specialises in care for people living with a dementia and has an outstanding rating, said that inspections and ratings at care homes were important in maintaining standards.

She said that thinking outside the box was key to the care home’s success, with it holding events such as coffee mornings and allowing residents to spray paint Zimmer frames.

Mrs McHugh, who is also the manager of Hollymount Residential and Dementia Care Centre in Blackburn, which is rated outstanding for its care, said: “The residents come first, it’s all about them. Our team has worked very hard to get the rating we have.”

Siama Millington, manager of Abbey Grange Care Home, Burnley, which was rated good in all areas in November, said: “CQC inspections are very important.

“It’s brilliant that we got good in all areas and it brings so much confidence to the staff.”

A spokesman for the CQC, the independent regulator of health and social care in England, added: “CQC make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, caring, well-led and responsive care, and we encourage care services to improve."

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.”