UNSAFE, ineffective, careless, unresponsive and poorly-led is how the national health watchdog has described Old Town nursing home, Princess Lodge Care Centre.

The Curie Avenue centre, which is run by national firm Life Style Care, was inspected on July 10 and found to be failing to meet all five of the standards it is expected by the Care Quality Commission.

Warning notices, a last resort used by the CQC for breaches in regulations, have been served on the home, which was given until last Saturday to file an action plan for transforming its practises.

The inspection was unannounced and inspectors said it was carried out after they had concerns about the care people were receiving.

Inspectors said: “The service was not safe. There were not sufficient numbers of qualified, skilled and experienced staff to carry out the regulated activities.

“People who used the service were not protected from the risk of abuse because the provider had not taken reasonable steps to identify the possibility of abuse and prevent abuse from happening.

“We found people were not always supported to eat or drink enough to maintain their health. Staff had not always received training to meet the needs of people living at the home.

“Care did not always take account of people's individual preferences and did not always respect their dignity.

“People were not always spoken to in a way that was respectful or caring.

“People that had lost significant amounts of weight had not been referred to a dietician and care records did not always show the most up-to-date information on people’s needs and risks.”

Among the evidence presented by inspectors, one person had reportedly been asking for a shower since the previous day, but staff said they were too busy.

The person said: “I feel wet and dirty.”

An interaction between two service users in one of the lounges on-site, which escalated into shouting, left both parties distressed, yet two care workers entered on three occasions and ignored them.

Two people remained in bed all day because there were not enough staff to support them, and others remained in bed after lunch because they were not assisted with dressing.

“These situations restricted people’s liberty in a way that may amount to deprivation of liberty but without the authorisation to do so,” said the report.

Some people did not have call bells in their room and there was no evidence to suggest why this was, according to the inspectors.

Those who did not have call bells or could not use them would reportedly scream if they needed anything, but even by this method they were not responded to in a timely manner.

One service user was identified as losing more than 16 per cent of their body weight over a six-month period.

There was no evidence a GP had ever assessed this service user in relation to the extreme weight loss, despite the claims made by staff.

This user wasleft drinks and biscuits on a side table out of their reach on the other side of the room.

A spokesman for Swindon Council, which was contacted after the report was published, said: “We are working jointly with the CQC to make sure the care home reaches the required standard, and as part of this we are making random and frequent visits to check that improvements are being made in line with the requirements of the CQC report.

“These visits can last for several hours and what we find is shared with both the CQC and the operator of the care home.”

Lisa Mitchell, the regional director for Life Style Care, said: “The management at Princess Lodge Care Centre acknowledge there have been serious shortfalls in the standards of care and support of the residents in the home.

“Significant progress has already been made since the inspection in July, including the appointment of a new permanent home manager.

“There is a programme in place to improve the outcomes that residents at Princess Lodge may expect.

“Substantial developments in the support systems and structures are being made and the staff team are committed to ensuring that consistent positive progress is maintained.”