A CARE home has been placed in "special measures" after it was judged to be inconsistently safe by the health watchdog.

Fernica Care Home, in Kings Road, Prestwich, was rated "Inadequate" by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), following an unannounced inspection in February.

The grading is a mark down from the home's previous "Requires Improvement" rating, published in November 2017.

Fernica provides accommodation and care for people with mental health support needs — specialising in care for bipolar, manic depression, epilepsy and schizophrenia.

The home has 14 single bedrooms, in two converted Victorian houses, with shared bathrooms and toilet facilities, two lounges and a dinning room — and housed 11 people at the time of inspection.

Inspectors recorded that fire risk assessments had not been completed by someone suitably qualified or experienced, and water outlets had not been checked to ensure safe temperatures.

However the report noted that that checks into the safety of the environment had been completed.

The home was also recognised for having expanded risk assessments, safe infection controls, management of medicines and for protecting people from risk of harm or abuse.

Inspectors said that they were "concerned" that the registered manager is working an excessive number of hours, meaning "they were not able to effectively support people as well as manage and improve the service".

Staffing levels were criticised as insufficient and lacking flexibility to effectively meet people's current and changing needs.

However, the staff team was praised as stable, with few new staff employed over the last few years.

But further criticism was levelled due to failures to carry out recent pre-admission assessments, meaning "people's needs may not be adequately considered and planned for", according to the report.

It added that the service was "not always responsive" and "improvements were needed so that people were supported to achieve their individual goals and aspirations."

Inspectors outlined further concerns regarding restrictions on residents, such as deprivation of liberty, although it noted that "relevant authorisations were in place".

The report said: "People's records confirming consent to restrictions needed to be expanded to clearly record the reasons why."

Despite the overall rating, the home was praised as "caring", being judged as good in this area.

Inspectors recorded that people said they enjoy living at Fernica, and that staff were kind, friendly and supportive.

People were supported in their religious needs with a Rabbi visiting every Friday, the report noted.

It added: "The atmosphere within the home was calm and relaxed and people were seen to get on well with each other.

"We saw people spent their time in communal areas or in the privacy of their own rooms.

"All the people we spoke with said they liked living at the home and felt staff were very caring and understood them.

"People we spoke with said, "Staff look after me, they act like my Mum" and "I'm happy with everyone and everything here.""

Fernica has been approached for comment.

The home will be inspected again within six months.