A South London care agency has been blasted after the manager did not know how many patients it had.

Miracle Agency in Battersea had 10 patients at the time of the inspection by the care watchdog in July and could face closure if it does not improve.

The agency for elderly people has been given the worst possible rating – “inadequate” – by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which said rules had been broken.

Inspectors found the manager was unaware of the number of patients the service cared for.

The report said: “The number provided by the registered manager was in contradiction to the number recorded by the local authority. We were therefore not assured the people received care and support from a service that was well-led.”

Patients were said to not be safe and were at risk of avoidable harm. Inspectors found patients did not receive their medicines safely and that patients’ risks were not recorded.

They said the manager had “ineffective and inadequate knowledge of their role and responsibilities” and “failed to learn lessons when things went wrong”.

Inspectors also said staff sometimes turned up late to visits and did not stay for the full duration. 

One patient said: “Staff [members] can be up to an hour and a half late, they don’t let you know they’re going to be late.

"There’s meant to be two staff turn up, but sometimes only one does.”

A worker said staff were “at times late to visits, however this was not a frequent occurrence”.

Inspectors raised concerns that patients’ care did not always meet their needs and preferences, with one patients’ plan not mentioning they used a wheelchair and hoist.

The report said complaints were not documented, investigated or responded to.

It said: “One relative told us they had made complaints to the registered manager, however during the inspection we found no evidence of any complaints having been recorded.

"The registered manager told us the service had not received any complaints in the last 12 months.”

But the agency, which cares for people in their homes, was praised for supporting patients to have “maximum choice and control of their lives” and in the least restrictive way possible.

The agency on Falcon Road was rated “good” at its last inspection in 2017. The fall to “inadequate” means it has been placed in special measures. It will be kept under review and reinspected in six months to check for “significant improvements”.

James Frewin, head of adult social care inspection at CQC, said there had been a “significant drop in the standards of care being provided to people”.

He said: “We have taken action to ensure the provider is clear about what it must do to improve, and we will continue to monitor the service to ensure that people are safe and well-cared for. 

"If we aren’t satisfied that enough progress is being made we will take further action, which could include closing the service, to protect people from harm.” 

Miracle Agency has been contacted for comment.