CARE home boss Robert Longley-Cook has defended staff who were criticised by inspectors who rated the service provided for adults with learning difficulties in Rowde, near Devizes as inadequate.

He claimed that the report which highlighted sexual abuse, fights, unexplained bruising, blood on a bedroom floor and people crying out in pain was not a true picture of the care home in Furlong Close.

Mr Longley-Cook, who is chief executive of not-for-profit firm Hft, said there had only been once incident of a sexual nature since Hft took over the home in 2013, the person crying out was suffering from dementia and the blood on the carpet had come from a person scratching themselves with a long finger nail.

He said the sexual abuse incident came a from a sexual comment directed to a woman resident by a male client during a supervised walk which was immediately picked up by staff.

The Care Quality Commission inspected the home in July and updated its report at the end of December which brought more scrutiny to the premises.

He said: "Many of the things in the report are not what they seem. Our staff are dedicated to looking after the people in their care. Many of the staff have been with us for many years. The report when it came out in July caused a lot of heartache and the new publicity has caused more distress. Since July we have been provided a lot of extra support for staff."

He accepted that some procedural and reporting criticisms in the report were justified but said steps had been taken to improve this area. He hoped inspectors would return in the near future and he hoped the home would be rated good in all areas.

Rowde Care Home is made up of bungalows where up to 37 people with a wide range of moderate learning difficulties live together with the support of staff. He said: "Our aim is for people to live as normal a life as possible and for them to be as independent as possible.

"They have a choice about who they would like to live with, what time they want to have their meals and when they go to bed. Some of them have jobs and others are classified as being safe to go out on their own for a walk or to catch a bus into Devizes. We consider the bungalows to be their own homes.

"Others go out with staff members to the village shop. We have lots of volunteers come in from the village and we have a lot of support from the community."

The report was scathing about about the procedural processes at the home. It said: "Staff were unclear about which incidents had to be reported. There was no systematic approach in reporting and managing incidents, this varied across the location.

"We found a number of incidents that had not been either recorded on the system or reported to management. These incidents included physical altercations

between people where an injury was sustained and no medical help was sought, unexplained bruising, a person who had passed out with no medical attention called, unexplained blood found on a bedroom floor, and people being in pain and crying out.

"At this inspection the provider had failed to take the required action to keep people safe.The managers, senior management and provider had no awareness of a large numbers of incidents that had not been reported to them."