Home care company fails every standard

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A WIGAN home-care agency has been blasted by a Government watchdog and ordered to improve – immediately.

Ashton’s registered provider Makerfield Home Care Agency in Bolton Road failed ALL 10 national standards after a Care Quality Commission team inspected the business two months ago.

By law, providers of care services must ensure that they are meeting all standards.

Experts from the CQCs reviewed a sample of care and treatment records for people using the service, and spoke with service users, relatives and members of staff, following an unsatisfactory report earlier this year, and they quickly found that improvements were still required in a number of areas.

Former Makerfield MP Sir Ian McCartney – now chair of HealthWatch which had contacted the CQC with its own concerns about the company – demanded it now be closed down.

He said: “This company has been guilty of repeatedly failing to carry out the improvements it is being instructed.

“It has used up all its chances and the doors should now be locked for good.

“It has put people at risk by its actions and I have absolutely no doubt that it is now time to come down on it and come down on it hard.”

Makerfield Home Care provides care and support to people living in Ashton as well as Earlestown and Newton.

Inspectors found that the information contained in service users care records was limited and failed to identify the level of care and support required.

There was no evidence available to show that people’s needs had been assessed or that people’s needs were being monitored and regularly reviewed.

Makerfield Home Care told CQC inspectors that they did not have a system in place to gain people’s views and experiences so that these could be taken into account in how the service was delivered.

Inspectors were concerned that some staff were not aware of people’s medication needs, and medicines were not always being administered by staff suitably trained to do so.

A review of staff files indicated that procedures in place for the recruitment of staff were not suitably robust and the provider had failed to obtain references from previous employers before taking on a new member of staff.

The training records for staff showed that they were not receiving the training and support they needed in order to delivery care safely.

Under 20 per cent of the staff had undertaken medication training and only 12 per cent had completed training in risk assessment.

The CQC inspectors also found that people using the service were not fully safeguarded from the risk of abuse as there was limited guidance available for staff on how to respond to a safeguarding allegation or concern.

Staff training was not sufficient to ensure that staff understood safeguarding procedures.

CQC’s regional director for the north, Malcolm Bower-Brown, said that the issues it had found at Makerfield Home Care Agency was a “real concern” and it had been told to make “immediate” improvements.

He said: “We continue to monitor the situation carefully and will not hesitate to take further regulatory action should this prove necessary to ensure the people using the service receive the service they are entitled to expect.”

Makerfield Home Care have the right to legally challenge any regulatory decision that CQC takes through a variety of internal and external appeal processes.

Makerfield Home Care refused to comment.