A CARE home which was so understaffed that inspectors had to step in and help residents during one visit has been given two months to increase its numbers after failing to meet standards again.

Officers from the Care Inspectorate carried out a follow-up visit to Lammermuir House Care Home, Dunbar, five months after they were forced to intervene to “maintain the dignity” of residents living at the facility.

But instead of finding staff numbers increased, they found workers still overstretched and under stress as they tried to meet the demand of patients.

They have now ordered home operators to improve the number of qualified staff working there by the end of October.

The care home, at East Links Road, is run by Tamaris Healthcare, part of Four Seasons Health Care Group.

Staff working at the home received high praise from residents, families and the inspectors, who recognised the commitment and care of those employed at the home.

However, they found that despite warning following a previous visit that staff numbers needed to be increased to meet demand, the home was still understaffed.

Inspectors said: “Residents should expect that their care needs are met by the right number of people who have time to support, care and speak with them and also be responded to promptly when they ask for help.

“This was not what we found at this inspection.

“Although dependency assessments were used to determine direct care hours needed, we questioned whether the levels of staff met this each day.

“Lammermuir House did not have the adequate number of staff working each day to make sure this happened.”

During a previous inspection in December last year, officers revealed they had to intervene, unlocking a toilet door for one resident, offering help to another exhibiting stressed behaviour and another who was “inappropriately dressed” during their visit.

East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership said it was working with the home to tackle the issues and owners Four Seasons pledged to address problems as a priority.

However, a return visit to the home in August found staff levels still not meeting targets.

The Care Inspectorate has issued a requirement for the home to “ensure there are sufficient numbers of suitably qualified and competent staff working in and deployed across the service” by October 31.

The report found there were improvements in some aspects of the home following the previous inspection, with the level of care and support planning raised from adequate to good.

A spokesperson from Four Seasons Healthcare said: “We regret that we were unable to demonstrate the improvements in staffing levels we have made since the Care Inspectorate’s earlier visit.

“The home follows the guidance of Scottish Care and the Inspectorate to ensure the level of staff on every shift meets the needs of all of our residents.

“In light of the latest report, we have reviewed how we apply this measurement.

“While we have made great progress against our action plan since our last inspection, we still have work to do.

“We are pleased that this latest report has recognised the progress we have made in the other areas and that we have achieved a ‘good’ rating for how well our care and support are planned.”