A west Suffolk nursing home has been placed in special measures after watchdog inspectors raised concerns over safeguarding, patient monitoring and fire safety. 

Pinford End Nursing Home in Hawstead, near Bury St Edmunds, was inspected by the Care Quality Commission in September after they received concerns about safe care and treatment, safeguarding and safe medicines management, amongst other things. 

The care home, which provides personal, nursing and end of life care, was told it required improvement when it was visited in January, but after the latest inspection this was reduced to inadequate and the home was placed in special measures.

Inspectors found the provider's governance systems and audit process continued not to be robust enough to ensure shortfalls were addressed, and the home had failed to take action in response to fire safety concerns raised after external fire inspection visits.

They found the provider did not always respond to safeguarding concerns in line with their own policy and, when events including safeguarding incidents took place, records did not evidence what action had been taken.

Inspectors said staff had not effectively monitored patients at risk of choking, inadequate food and fluid intake or those at risk of acquiring pressure wounds.

Regular checks on medical devices like suction machines were found not to be carried out and inspectors said there were not enough trained or supervised staff to safely meet people's needs.

Catriona Eglinton, CQC deputy director of operations, said: "We found leaders didn’t manage staff well and when talking to inspectors about their experiences of working at the service, some staff were visibly upset.  They told us there wasn’t regular supervision or staff meetings.

"They also told us staff morale was low and the atmosphere was unpleasant as, according to one member of staff, leaders were more focused on money than people’s care.

"Inspectors found that medicines were managed poorly. For example, one person needed their medication administered in a particular way, but this wasn’t put in place and therefore, they hadn’t received their medication, putting them at risk of harm. The registered manager said the delays were due to a lack of signed paperwork."

The service is now in special measures and will be kept under close review by the Care Quality Commission.

Pinford End Nursing Home has been approached for comment.