A home care provider in Prestwich is in “special measures” after its first ever inspection.
Preferred home care services, based on Brent Lane, were rated as “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), after scheduled inspection activity took place in October and November last year.
Both safety and management were placed in the lowest possible category of “inadequate”, while efficiency, care and responsiveness were rated as “requiring improvement”.
The report identified several breaches in terms of safe care and treatment, good governance and staff.
The report found that the service did not fully engage in the inspection process and failed to provide accurate staff changes.
At the time of the inspection, the service provided care to six people.
The report identified service users as being insecure and at risk of avoidable harm.
The report said: “Risk assessments were either not in place or did not support staff in mitigating identified risks. For example, one person was identified as at risk of suffocation.
“There was no clear guidance in place for staff to reduce this risk, or how to react if the person was strangled.
“There were no instructions to staff to safely administer medication to people. The head of care advised the company’s policy not to administer medication.”
Although the report did not find evidence that people had been injured, it stated that systems to ensure that staff were employed safely were inadequate.
The report added: “Staff training was not up to date. The training matrix showed that all staff had outdated training.
“The service supported people in need of palliative care, but the training matrix did not show any training in this area.”
CQC’s report notes that staff treated people with dignity and respect, and care plans were personalized and alienated independence.
Overall evidence that the service was caring was, however, assessed as “requiring improvement”.
The report added: “The service did not show that people were consistently involved in decisions about their care. There were no records of treatment reviews and some information was outdated.”
Preferred home care services will now be reviewed, to be inspected again within six months.
If no “significant improvements” are made, it may be prevented from working.
When Preferred Home Care Services Limited was contacted for comment, declined to comment on the outcome of the report, but stated that it planned to appeal CQC’s findings.