A nursing home has been told it requires improvement by inspectors for the third time in a row.

Braintree Nursing Home, in Coggeshall Road, faced an unannounced inspection after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) received information of concern about poor cleanliness and poor hygiene.

The home provides nursing and personal care for up to 51 older people, some of whom have a diagnosis of dementia.

Inspections in 2015 and 2016 also saw the home rated as requires improvement, with concerns around medication raised each time.

The report said: “The service was not consistently safe. Two out of the three staff files did not have references from their previous employer to check their previous conduct and suitability for their new role.

“There was a strong odour on entering the main house which was confined to one area and this was discussed with both registered persons and needs to be addressed.

“Although we found people’s rooms and communal parts of the service were generally clean and tidy, the standard of cleanliness and hygiene in toilets and bathrooms needed to improve.”

Three out of the five inspection areas, is the home safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led, were rated as requires improvement.

The home suffered two fires in as many months between 2015 and 2016, with the fire service believing one was started by a cigarette.

The report did praise staff for being kind, and also stated residents were given “maximum choice and control over their lives”.

“People were supported to maintain their health and had access to appropriate healthcare services.”

Fiona Kemp, manager of Braintree Nursing Home, said: “We are really pleased with the report because it reads beautifully. There is some fantastic positive feedback from inspectors and residents.

“They were impressed by the staff and the only action they have asked us to take action on in to ensure there are more effective systems to monitor the quality of service.

“We received two good ratings but improvements can be made.”