People with learning disabilities were “unlawfully” locked in their bedrooms and restrained at a South London care home.

Rosebank Lodge in Mitcham has been placed in special measures after inspectors uncovered the “restrictive practices”.

Rosebank Lodge is the home of 10 people between the ages of 30 and 65 with learning disabilities and autism.

Following an inspection in July, it has been rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission, the care watchdog.

It was previously rated good.

Inspectors visited the Mitcham residential home after concerns were raised about the care provided to people.

The CQC found that as well as people being unlawfully locked in their bedrooms, unlawful restraint was also used on one person.

The home has been told it must improve and could face being shut down if “significant improvements” are not made.

Inspectors found other problems, including injuries not being recorded and medications not always being managed safely.

James Frewin, CQC head of adult social care inspection, said:  “We carried out an unannounced inspection of Rosebank Lodge to follow up on concerns that people were being unlawfully deprived of their liberty.

"It was unacceptable to find that restrictive practices were being used without the necessary legal authorisation.

“People were locked in their bedrooms, their water supply was cut off and inspectors saw one person being unlawfully restrained by staff.

“People’s rights were clearly not being respected and the service had a closed culture where people weren’t supported to live freely from unwarranted restrictions.

"The service has breached regulations relating to consent, safeguarding, improper treatment and good governance, but we have been assured by management that door locks have now been removed and people are able to move freely around their home.”

Inspectors did say there were enough staff to provide support to people ad residents were able to take part in activities in the home and in the community.

The CQC said since the inspection the area manager has taken action to address concerns.

A spokesperson for Achieve Together, which runs the home, said: “We very much regret that we missed the opportunity to challenge the findings of this report.

"We have a robust policy on restriction reduction and through our own internal risk profiling and quality support provided to all our homes, prior to the inspection we were proactive in changing the management at the service by introducing leadership with a track record of leading Outstanding rated services.

“The positive impact of this is now being embedded throughout all aspects of the service.

"We do not accept that the context of this report accurately reflects the observations made during the time of inspection.

"The service was rated Good in February 2022 and remains rated Good in Effective, Responsive and Caring.

“We are of course committed to working with transparency and partnership with all stakeholders. 

"We continue to be committed to improve support wherever we can, and to build on lessons learned through our own internal audit processes and through engagement with our CQC and Local Authority partners.”