A CARE agency has been placed into special measures after being branded 'inadequate' by a health watchdog.

Options Home Care Limited in Accrington was given the rating after an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) earlier this year.

The service provides personal care and domestic support to people over the age of 18 years with a variety of health and social care needs who live in their own homes.

A report published this week branded the service 'inadequate' for providing safe and well-led services, while it required improvement for its effectiveness, care and responsiveness.

At the inspection, CQC found the quality and safety of the service, which was rated ‘requires improvement’ overall in April 2017, showed 'no improvements' and found the service was in breach of five regulations under the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

Bosses at Options Home Care Limited said the issues are 'now being addressed'.

The service, based in Accrington market hall, will now be kept under review and will be inspected again within six months, and if sufficient improvements are not made it could be at risk of closure within a year.

The report hit out at the service for shortfalls in effective management of risks of harm and abuse, failure to ensure the recruitment of staff was safe, inadequate staffing levels and shortfalls in staff training.

The report said: "The service was not safe.

"The registered manager had not assessed and considered the risks to people such as falls or moving and handling.

"Risk assessments that were in place had been handwritten and were difficult to read.

"There was a lack of sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, competent and skilled staff.

"The lack of training available to and undertaken by staff did not ensure that people who used the service were cared for in a safe way.”

Inspectors also said care plans they looked at did not reflect people's current health care needs such as those at risk of falling, and that none of the care plans looked at were centred for each specific person.

However the service was praised for its care, with inspectors saying people using the service were all very complimentary about the care staff and the service they received.

The registered manager was also praised in the report for being 'very knowledgeable about the people who used the service and their needs'.

On the day of the inspection a total of seven people used the service, which helps provide care for people with dementia, learning disabilities, physical disabilities and sensory impairments.

A spokesman for Options Home Care Limited said: "All of the issues are now being addressed."