A CARE home has been ordered to make urgent improvements by the health watchdog after a surprise inspection revealed serious failings.

During a visit to St Katherine’s House in Wantage, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) raised concerns over the home’s hygiene, medicine storage and record keeping – including one resident’s records which incorrectly contained a 'do not resuscitate' instruction.

According to the damning report, bathrooms were not properly cleaned, mouldy cups were left on tables and discarded tissues left on communal chairs and sofas.

Inspectors also raised concerns over security, saying ‘unauthorised individuals’ could have gained access to medicine storage rooms because staff were using the same key code on secure doors around the home.

The visit followed up concerns identified at the 76-bedroom Ormond Road home in December 2017 which the CQC said management had failed to address.

In fact the facility had actually worsened according to the inspection team, which, during the visit in October, witnessed two breaches of the Health and Safety Act.

Inspectors also said risk assessments had not been carried out despite in one case a resident being 'found on the floor next to the bed', while residents' prescribed medicines were not always held in stock.

Staff had also recorded on one resident’s records that there was no 'care plan change required' despite the resident having recently become bed-bound, while another had not had their catheter replaced in over three months.

The home was rated as ‘inadequate’ across the 'safe', 'responsive' and 'well-led' inspection measures.

Inspectors did rate the home ‘good’ in terms of care, but said it ‘required improvement’ in terms of its overall effectiveness.

Overall the facility was rated inadequate and placed into special measures.

The CQC report stated: “This service will continue to be kept under review and, if needed, could be escalated to urgent enforcement action.

“Where necessary, another inspection will be conducted within a further six months, and if there is not enough improvement so there is still a rating of inadequate for any key question or overall, we will take action to prevent the provider from operating this service.”

Despite the failings, the CQC inspectors did offer praise to staff members saying: “Throughout our visit we saw people were treated in a caring and kind way.

“The staff were friendly, polite and respectful when providing support to people.”

A spokesman for Gold Care Homes which runs St Katherine's said: “We take the latest findings of the CQC very seriously and had already begun implementing significant changes in the home.

“Even though we received a ‘good’ rating for caring service, there are a number of areas which required immediate attention.

“The Gold Care team are supporting the home in ensuring the quality of care meets our usual high standards.

“With a robust plan in place, we look forward to the CQC returning and demonstrating the improvements we have implemented.”