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Newbury care agency, Care @ Home Newbury, given inadequate CQC rating

A Newbury care agency has been rated ‘inadequate’ and accused of failing to keep its patients safe.

Care @ Home Newbury, which provides personal care to people in their own homes, was given the rating following a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection in May.

The inspection, prompted due to concerns received about staffing and management, found that people were not adequately protected from the risk of harm and abuse, and medicines were not managed safely.

The care agency has been accused of not keeping its patients safe (Pic: istock/Dean Mitchell)
The care agency has been accused of not keeping its patients safe (Pic: istock/Dean Mitchell)

Patient records were found not to be complete. One person had a catheter, but there was no information recorded in the person’s care plan to instruct staff on how to provide catheter care and prevent the person acquiring an infection through the catheter, the report said.

It was discovered police were conducting an investigation after a staff member allegedly stole from a person in their care. The agency had failed to inform the CQC about the incident as required, nor carried out its own investigation into the incident to ensure it didn’t happen again, inspectors said.

The service was previously rated ‘good’ overall in 2019, and good for being safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well-led.

Following the recent inspection, the home’s overall rating, and its ratings for being safe and well-led dropped from good to inadequate.

The ratings for being effective, caring and responsive have dropped from good to requires improvement.

Rebecca Bauers, CQC’s head of inspection for adult social care, said: “When we inspected Care @ Home Newbury Ltd, we were incredibly concerned to find neither the provider or the manager had any oversight of the service, which meant people weren’t being cared for safely and were at risk of harm.

“We have taken enforcement action to make sure the service implements the necessary improvements needed. We are also working with external partners who are also monitoring the quality and safety of the service.

“People receiving care at home deserve to receive safe care.

“We have told the provider to make urgent improvements and requested an action plan showing how they will improve the standard of care.

“We will continue to monitor the service closely in conjunction with the local authority to ensure sufficient improvements are made. If necessary, we will take further action to ensure people are safe.”

At the time of the inspection it was providing personal care to 24 people.

The service is now in special measures which means it will be closely monitored by the CQC and re-inspected to check sufficient improvements have been made.

Other failures by the agency picked up in the report included staff not arriving at consistent times for care visits, and being frequently late.

A staff member said visits were often scheduled so they overlapped, leaving them insufficient time to deliver all support needed and to travel to the next care visit.

The registered manager said they did not have a log of late or missed calls to help identify the reasons for late and missed visits and make improvements.

In its response, managing director Wayne Welch said how “disappointed” he and the management team was, and that the company – which he has been running since June 2006 – hadn't had a bad report until now.

He said: “We understand that Covid-19 has had a negative impact on the business and we understand this is no excuse for going from good to where we are today.

“I have been out of the company due to personal reasons and had left management in charge of the business.

“We have seen a decline in how the service has been run and the failings in the report.

“I have now returned and have started the process of bringing the company back to where this should be with a team of trusted individuals to help with the administration of turning this around in the next few months.

“I have an action plan that is now in place and this will help turn around the shortfalls.

“I must stress that the clients we have are being well looked after and we have a great team of care staff in place.

“We will continue to monitor the service we provide and make sure that the back office is back to where we need to be.”

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