A care centre which did not deal correctly with unexplained bruising on a client and has a pest problem was found to be "not safe".

The Bhakti Shyama Care Centre, in Balham High Road, opened in 2011 to care for older members of the borough's Asian community. The centre, next to the Radha Krishna Temple Shyama Ashram temple, was inspected during an unannounced visit by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on April 21 and 24, this year.

At the last inspection in May 2014, the CQC found it was meeting the regulations but this time it was found to require improvement.

Staff were found to be "stretched" and two were seen taking breaks in the first floor corridor. The report said: "When we enquired, they said they felt they could not leave because they were worried about leaving the people.

"We spoke to a manager about this who said there was a break rota in place and that care staff should not be taking breaks in the corridor."

Pests were also found to be a problem, after inspectors found a mouse in one of the empty bedrooms.

A smell of stagnating water or urine in some bedrooms and toilets indicated appropriate steps not been taken to prevent the spread of infection, the report said.

Care at the centre was found to be good. The report said: "Although staff appeared to be busy writing care records or in some instances did not always engage with people, we found that when they did speak to them they did this in a calm and kind manner and spoke to them using culturally acceptable terms of endearment."

Records looked at by the CQC showed an unexplained bruise on a person and that a GP had been told. However, safeguarding procedures were found not to be followed as it had not been raised with the council.

The report, published on June 18, said: "Although people told up that they felt safe and that staff treated them well, we found that the provider did not follow safeguarding procedures in terms of notifying the local authority of any concerns relating to potential abuse."

Although staff had safeguarding training, the centre had previously been admonished for failing to report an unexplained bruise to the local authority more quickly. The CQC said a second failure to do so was a breach of the Health and Social Act 2008.

When approached for a response by this newspaper, the centre declined to comment, saying they would address whatever needs to be addressed with the local authority.

Up to 22 people can be cared for by the all-Asian staff, who speak Gujarati, the main language for the majority of the users. At the time of the inspection 19 people were at the centre.