A NURSING and residential care home on Cricklade Road has been labelled ‘inadequate’ and placed into special measures by health and social care regulator, the Care Quality Commission.

Inspectors reported a lack of safety in the management of medication and said they were concerned about fire risks due to people smoking in their rooms.

The home, which is run by Rethink Mental Illness, provides ongoing support for up to six adults with mental health issues.

It was rated as ‘inadequate’ in two of the inspection categories, safe and responsive, and as ‘requiring improvement’ in the other three after an inspection in December.

The inspection found four breaches of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 and identified “significant risks” due to the management of medicines.

The report stated: “People in the service were not safe due to the management of medicines in the home. The home did not keep complete records of what medicines people were taking.

“Staff were not always aware of relevant and important background information which was recorded on people’s assessments.”

CQC inspectors were particularly concerned over potential fire risks when they found people were smoking in their rooms, something that regularly sets off the fire alarms.

One fire alarm went off during the inspection, but due to the frequent nature of the alarms, only the inspectors and staff left the premise, the report said.

The risk of fire was increased, the report warned, due to the state of the bedrooms which were heavily littered with rubbish.

Roxanne Duff, 24, was a mental health recovery worker at the home in Cricklade Road before resigning 12 months ago due to unsafe working conditions.

She said: "I left after complaints sent to my manager regarding safety and lack of control measures were ignored repeatedly.

"My concerns were not taken seriously and I hope that other care homes can learn from the mistakes made here and take safety more seriously.

"I am glad the CQC were able to find out for themselves how unsafe the service is."

The aim of the Cricklade Road home is to help people move into more independent accommodation by providing support for their changing needs.

The CQC report said inspectors witnessed mostly positive interactions between staff and people using the service.

A Rethink Mental Illness spokesperson said: “This is the first time this rating has been given to a Rethink Mental Illness service under new inspection regulations.

"We are now working on following recommendations with the safety and wellbeing of those who use the service as a priority. We are also working closely with CQC on updating them on our progress.”