news

Patients 'put at risk of harm' by 'inadequate' home care service

CQC report into Generations and Companions Care, which operates in Chester and Ellesmere Port

The Care Quality Commission has graded Generations and Companions Care 'inadequate'(Image: Getty Images)

Elderly patients of an Ellesmere Port care service were ‘put at risk of harm’ by a series of failings.

Generations and Companions Care risked people not being given medicine as prescribed and recruitment checks on staff were not ‘robust’ enough.

But there were no complaints from patients or their families about staff and the standard of service.

It comes from a critical report by the Care Quality Commission which rated the company ‘inadequate’ overall.

The report says: “The registered provider did not have appropriate systems in place to protect people from harm.

“The overall rating for this service is ‘inadequate’ and the service is therefore in ‘special measures’.”

Based at Stanlaw Abbey Business Centre on Dover Drive, Generations and Companions Care provides home care for people in Ellesmere Port and Chester.

Its services included support for those over 65 years old, dementia sufferers or patients with learning disabilities.

Generations and Companions Care provides domiciliary support for patients in Chester and Ellesmere Port(Image: John Stillwell/PA Wire)

Generations and Companions Care was graded inadequate in the ‘safe’, ‘effective’ and ‘well-led’ categories, as well as overall.

The company rated requires improvement in ‘caring’ and ‘responsive’. It had passed its most recent CQC inspection in 2014.

Damning lines from the latest report include.

  • “Robust recruitment processes were not in place and staff were working without the required checks. This meant that people were not protected from the risks of being supported by staff not of suitable skill or character.”
  • “The safe management of medicines was not in place. There was a risk that people would not get their medicines as prescribed. Medication was not always given by staff that had been trained or deemed as competent in these tasks. Some people were at risk as they had not given valid consent to their medicines being given.”
  • “The mental capacity of people to consent to their care was not assessed and valid consent was not always obtained before support and care was provided.”
  • “There was no strong leadership of the service and a failure to make sustained improvements following previous inspections.”

Other failings included the staff rota not being regularly completed, workers were not provided with consistent training and patients’ health risks not properly assessed.

Officials carried out their review across July 1,4 and 8, 2015.

'Satisfied with the support and service they received'

Patients and their families expressed no concerns to the inspectors about the quality of service on offer.

Complaints were also identified and dealt with well, but the process ‘needed updating’.

The report says: “People who used the service told us that they were satisfied with the support and service that they received.

“They said that the staff were kind towards them and that they felt safe whilst staff were providing support.

“Family members had no concerns about their relative’s safety or the way their relatives were treated.”

Inspectors found ‘a number of breaches’ of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) 2014.

Chester care company has registration cancelled by watchdog

For the time being Generations and Companions Care has been placed in ‘special measures’ and will be kept under review, if necessary another inspection will take place in the next six months.

Services come out of special measures when they are no longer rated ‘inadequate’ in any of the five categories.

The Chronicle has made attempts to contact Generations and Companions Care for comment by telephone and in person without success.

What do you think of this story? Let us know in the comments below.

View full mobile page