MISSING morphine and residents left in soiled clothing have led to a struggling care home being rated “inadequate”.

Attwoods Manor Care Home is failing its residents and has been put back into special measures by the Care Quality Commission.

Inspectors found staff are failing to protect medicine, drugs are going missing and not being reported and residents are being left in soiled clothing.

Attwoods Manor, on Mount Hill, Halstead, was first rated as inadequate and given an admissions ban in September last year.

A follow up inspection in December found no improvements, but an inspection in April saw enough signs of promise for the home to have the ban lifted.

However, the latest inspection, published on Friday, revealed the home’s standards have slipped back.

The report stated the “service was not safe” and medication was not managed in a safe way.

Inspectors found the door to the controlled drugs cabinet was missing.

Staff had broken it off the cabinet after the key got stuck but nothing was reported and nothing was done to fix it leaving controlled drugs unprotected.

Morphine was found to have gone missing from a 300ml bottle which was supposed to have 285ml left but only had 50ml.

The matter has been referred by the Care Quality Commission for investigation.

The report stated: “Medicines were not managed safely and we did not have confidence in the auditing process as it had failed to identify some of the issues that we found such as people being given the incorrect amount of medication.

“We found the stock did not tally with the records and creams and lotions were not being administered as prescribed.”

Inspectors also raised several concerns about caring in the home, observing several occasions when people’s privacy and dignity was not maintained.

The report said: “We observed people wearing soiled clothing in the communal areas.

“Some were wet from spillages but one individual was observed just prior to lunchtime slouched in a wheelchair with the remains of their breakfast down the front of their top.

“Their mouth was sticky with food remnants.

“As we were walking around the building we heard crying from outside a room and when we entered found the individual to be very uncomfortable.”

Inspectors spoke with staff, and although they meant well, staff described a service that focused on tasks and routines, rather than individual needs.

Concerns were also raised over staff training, support at meal times, the quality of care plans, poorly kept care records, as well as leadership in the home.

The report stated the service was not always effective, with staff not consistently following best practise, as well as staff inductions falling below a sufficient level. Residents also need more support at meal times while staff had a limited understanding of the Mental Capacity Act.

The home was rated as inadequate in terms of leadership and safety, and requires improvement in terms of effectiveness, caring and responsiveness.

A spokesman for the care home said: “Attwoods Manor are continuing to work closely with the Care Quality Commission and Essex County Council to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the clients remain our utmost priority.

“We are working with our commissioning bodies to address and resolve the issues promptly and correctly.”

The home has space for 68 residents but only has 38. This is understood to be partly due to a combination of a previous admissions ban and families removing residents due to the failings at the home.