The Cromwell House Care Home in Huntingdon has been rated 'Inadequate' in all five key areas following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Inspectors visited the residential care home, in High Street, in August, which provided personal and nursing care for 53 people at the time of the inspection, some of whom may be living with dementia.

'Inadequate' is the lowest rating possible, and therefore, the care home, run by Abbey Healthcare, has been placed in 'special measures'.

The report highlighted the care home was not safe, not always effective, not always caring, not always responsive and not well-led in all five key questions.

The report said that people did not feel safe and were not protected from the risk of abuse and that evidence was found of nine pressure ulcers on people in the home.

"People developed pressure ulcers due to a lack of action taken to mitigate the risk of their skin breaking down," the report stated.

"Records evidenced the lack of staff had a negative impact on people.

"For example, people were cared for in bed and not supported to sit out and socialise with others, the lack of repositioning at recommended intervals contributed to people developing pressure ulcers and increased risk of dehydration due to lack of support from staff to drink."

The lack of staff meant people's needs were not met safely, and although relatives and people told inspectors that staff were kind and respectful towards them, "their actions had not demonstrated a caring approach".

Staff always appeared rushed, and the report said: "Staff failed to validate people's reality, feelings and failed to demonstrate understanding and warmth towards people."

Inspectors also found a high number of unexplained and unwitnessed wounds recorded as incidents, with one person found with a bruise on her lip.

Incidents like this did not prompt the registered manager to consider the likelihood of this happening due to unsafe moving and handling, with 44 per cent of staff not receiving handling training.

Staff relayed to inspectors that they lacked confidence in reporting to the registered manager, with one staff member saying, " I won't talk to the [registered] manager if I have another choice. They don't do anything."

There was not enough equipment available to support staff effectively, and staff had not been provided with training to provide in critical areas such as supporting people with dementia.

The report said: "The physical environment had not been adapted to take into consideration the needs of people living with dementia.

For example, there was a lack of signage to support people who lived with dementia to walk around the home.

This meant people could not easily orientate themselves within the home.

The overall 'Inadequate' rating now places the care home under special measures and will be under review.

The inspection report said: "If we do not propose to cancel the provider's registration, we will re-inspect within six months to check for significant improvements."

If the provider has not made any improvement within the time frame, the CQC will begin the process of preventing the provider from operating this service and cancelling the registration.

Abbey Healthcare have recognised the findings in the CQC report relating to their inspection on August 2 and said they are committed to working alongside its stakeholders to improve the service.

In a statement, Sarah Willitts, on behalf of Abbey Healthcare said many of the issues had been identified prior to the CQC inspection and additional support had already been put into place to improve the service.

"Following the inspection, we immediately accelerated our improvement plans, as is reflected in the CQC’s inspection report. We immediately responded to those concerns and have continued to work with the regulator and other organisations to ensure that the service is of a standard that Abbey Healthcare and its staff can be proud.

"These changes include a new and enhanced management team, significant investment in staff training and recruitment and significant investment in refurbishment.

"We are working alongside our colleagues in the local authority and ICB to drive forward these improvements. There has been significant progress made in the home's action plan, which has been recognised by our stakeholders.

"Our residents are at the heart of everything we do, and we are sorry that some may have been concerned by the findings of the CQC Report. We provide regular updates to our residents and their families and have been transparent throughout the changes that we have made.

"We are absolutely committed to working towards good outcomes for our residents, staff and their families and hope that they are reassured by the very positive changes we have made and would like to thank them for their ongoing support."