AN 'unclean' and 'not safe' care home has been placed in special measures by a health watchdog.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has taken action against St Andrews House, in Rainhall Road, Barnoldswick, after rating them as 'inadequate', after an unannounced inspection in August.

Inspectors said a number of areas of the home were ' unclean' and 'untidy' which presented a 'risk of infection', while people's medicines were not always managed safely.

Inspectors said in a report: "The service was not safe. People generally felt safe in the home but were worried about staff who did not know them.

"A number of areas of the home were unclean and untidy which presented a risk of infection.

"The level of risk to people's safety had not always been assessed, recorded or kept up to date.

"Staff were not always deployed in sufficient numbers to ensure people's needs were met in a consistent way.

"Safe recruitment practices were not followed.

"People's medicines were not always managed safely."

The home, which provides accommodation and both nursing and personal care for 24 people who have a

physical disability, was rated inadequate for safety and leadership.

While the home was rated as 'requires improvement for its effectiveness and responsiveness and 'good for its care'.

Inspectors added: "The service was not well led. The service did not have a registered manager.

"We found a number of breaches of the regulations.

"There were communication difficulties between the management team and some staff which impacted on the ability to improve the service and on people living in the home.

"New systems to monitor the quality of the service had been introduced but needed to be embedded to ensure their effectiveness.

"People were unsettled and anxious. There had been a lack of effective communication about changes in the home.

"Records were not accurate or stored confidentially."

However, inspectors praised the service as being 'caring' and that there were good relationships between people using the service and staff, while permanent staff had a good knowledge of people's needs and preferences.

Inspectors said that people's rights to privacy were also respected.

The service will now be kept under review and inspected again within six months, with the expectation that 'significant improvements' will be made in this time frame, said inspectors in a report.

The care home have been approached for comment.