A care agency based in Tarporley has been slammed by a healthcare watchdog as ‘inadequate’ – but says the findings are ‘not reflective’ of its services.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has placed the Cheshire West and East branch of Premier Care Limited – which provides support and personal care to people in their own homes – in special measures after an inspection conducted in October found that it was failing to provide care which was safe, effective, caring, responsive or well-led.
According to the CQC, service users told inspectors that their carers were polite and caring towards them but the overall service was unreliable, inconsistent and they therefore did not feel safe.
'Medication not given on time'
Branding the report ‘very unsatisfactory’, Debbie Westhead, deputy chief inspector of adult social care in the North, said: “People in receipt of services were very unhappy with the service that was being delivered.
“There were a number of concerning aspects, not least that people’s complaints were not identified and addressed. Neither were people’s views of the service always formally recorded and we found no action was taken when issues were raised. It was also evident that people were not listened to and action was not taken to prevent any unsafe or inappropriate care that was being reported.
“Inspectors found numerous examples of people who were not getting their medication either on time or not following prescribing instructions. It was often difficult to establish whether a person had actually received their medication."
Ms Westhead added that Premier Care ‘failed to follow’ their own recruitment policy which meant people ‘were not kept safe’ because some members of staff had not been through the appropriate checks or did not have appropriately completed application forms, interview notes or references.
“People are entitled to services which provide safe, effective, compassionate and high quality care,” she said.
However, Premier Care – which faces another inspection within six months to determine whether sufficient improvements have been made – told The Chronicle it does not accept the inspectors’ views and is taking ‘legal steps’ to ensure that a ‘fair and accurate report is provided to the public and users of our dedicated services’.
Director David McGuinn said: “Premier Care has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that staff are provided with support and appropriate recruitment checks are made.
“We only recruit experienced and qualified staff to provide services.
“We continue to provide services which are safe, effective, compassionate and of high quality.
“The views expressed by the CQC are not reflective of the services we provide.
“Premier Care can assure all users that we will continue providing high quality care pending resolution of the dispute with the CQC.”