A care home where inspectors found dirty bathrooms and a strong smell of urine has been placed into 'special measures'.

Altham Residential Care Home in Clayton-le-Moors, which cares for 32 adults with dementia and those who require nursing or personal care, was rated 'inadequate' in terms of safety and leadership following an unannounced inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The care home also received 'requires improvement' ratings in the following service areas: effectiveness, caring and responsiveness.

Altham received a 'good' rating in April 2019, however, the latest inspection, which took place in January, was prompted in part due to concerns received about infection control, bathing, risk assessments, staffing, care plans and the use of equipment.

The report stated: "We found torn bed sheets, dirty carpets and flooring, dirty equipment such as stand aids and a commode, a dirty en-suite, dirty plug hole in a shower and a heavily stained bed base.

"One bathroom sink contained a brown matter and one person told us, 'This floor is not very clean. It's not how I would have it at home.'

"On the first day of inspection we noted an overwhelming smell of urine in one part of the service and a number of other smaller areas.

"This was also highlighted as a concern during our last inspection.

"We saw infection control audits had highlighted an odour in one of the same areas on a number of occasions since July 2019.

"The provider ensured one carpet was changed during our inspection which improved the smell within the service."

Inspectors also noticed residents had been at risk of infection due to the sharing of toiletries and clean laundry being sorted and folded on a dining table and staff told inspectors they had not had training on infection control.

The report added: "Effective systems and processes were not always in place to safeguard people from the risk of abuse, and people were at risk as the service was dirty and unhygienic.

"Adequate staffing levels were not always in place, particularly at night time."

It was also noted how staff had not always received training and support, and residents were not supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives or best interests.

It continued: "People’s privacy and dignity was not always protected.

"We observed poor practice on two occasions and found CCTV in operation; without the consideration of relevant guidance and legislation.

"Care was not always planned in a person-centred way and people told us they had not seen their care plans.

"Residents were not always supported to engage in meaningful activities to stimulate them and prevent boredom and they did not access the community regularly.

"And complaints were not always managed in line with policies and procedures."

As a result, managers have been told to address the areas where regulations had not been met and complete an action report.

Altham will be kept under review and re-inspected in six months time and if improvements are not made the CQC will take action in line with enforcement procedures.

A spokesperson for Altham said: "We were obviously very disappointed with the rating, having always been rated good for over 30 years.

"Many of the concerns were addressed during the inspection and almost all were implemented prior to the report being published.

"The home has now worked with the regulator and all the recommendations that have been made, are now in place."