A care home for people with physical and learning disabilities has been placed in special measures.

An inspection of Hillside in Oxhey identified breaches regarding people’s safety and “failures” in leadership.

Watford Mencap, which runs the home of seven residents, has been issued a warning notice and must now make “significant” improvements to remove its “inadequate” rating.

The charity says it will ensure all of the issues found by the Care Quality Commission are “addressed” so the home can be “quickly restored” to its previous ‘good’ rating.

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Following two visits in September, the CQC concluded: “We have identified breaches in relation to people's safety, management's response to safeguarding concerns, person-centred care and failures in the leadership of the home at this inspection.”

A number of concerns were raised within the CQC’s report including that people did not “consistently” receive safe care at the home and that new and changing needs “were not managed in a safe way”.

Medicines were “poorly” administered, with staff not being checked properly that medicine was being given safely.

Incidents of when a person became distressed or when other people experienced an injury or near misses were not being investigated and managed safely, and “appropriate” action was not taken when potential neglect or harm occurred.

The report, published on November 18, also highlighted concerns with fire safety with drills not taking place and a lack of evacuation plans.

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Meanwhile, staff were not all “knowledgeable” of when they should report a potential concern to managers while leaders of the “tired” home had not created a "safe" live-in culture.

The CQC added there was “widespread and significant shortfalls” in service leadership.

A required process to register a manager with the CQC is ongoing.

A spokesperson for Mencap said: “We have shared the findings of the report with the people who live at Hillside, their families and our staff and apologised to them for this rating, which doesn’t reflect our commitments to providing an excellent service.

“In the eight weeks since the inspection, we’ve implemented a detailed action plan, bringing in additional resources, training and support. We will ensure that all issues are addressed and that the home is quickly restored to its previous 'good' rating.”

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