A CARE agency branded as unsafe and poorly-led has been rated as Inadequate and placed in special measures.

Inspectors slated Wimborne-based Tender-Hearted Limited after examining the way it operates during a two-week period last month.

Now the operators have been warned they could be banned from the care industry unless they make improvement.

Inspectors said medicines are not managed safely, staff are not recruited safely and the needs of those in its care are not identified or monitored.

The agency is based at the Arena Business Centre in Nimrod Way on the East Dorset Trade Park in Wimborne.

It offers personal care to adults in their own homes and has 21 people on its books. A risk assessment has only been carried out for one of them.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission(CQC) have now demanded improvements.

Settings are inspected in five categories and, when considering whether the agency is safe, effective or well-led, inspectors rated all three as Inadequate.

When asking if it is caring or responsive, they rated both as Requires Improvement.

In a report just published inspectors said: "The management of people's medicines was not safe. Only four out of 13 staff administering medicines had completed training in medicines administration. Staff had not been assessed as competent to administer medicines.

"People did not have individual risk assessments in place with guidance to staff on how to mitigate risks of spreading Covid-19. Staff had not completed infection prevention and control training."

The report said two members of staff had no references and "there was no recording of lessons learned when things went wrong."

Inspectors spoke to users of the service and their relatives and received mixed reviews.

One relative said: "I do wonder if they had had any training whatsoever" but another said: "I have always felt safe with them."

The CQC has now asked the provider to send them a report outlining how they plan to address areas of concern.

A spokesman said: "The inspection was prompted in part due to concerns received about staff training, supervisions, and overall governance of the service. A decision was made for us to inspect and examine those risks.

"We will work alongside the provider and local authority to monitor progress. We will return to visit as per our re-inspection programme. If we receive any concerning information we may inspect sooner.

"The overall rating for this service is inadequate and the service is therefore in 'special measures'. This means we will keep the service under review and, if we do not propose to cancel the provider's registration, we will re-inspect within six months to check for significant improvements."