West Bromwich care firm at risk of closure after damning safety concerns raised
A company which provides home care in Sandwell has been placed into special measures after failings were uncovered during an inspection prompted by the death of a resident.
Doors were left unlocked at homes of elderly and vulnerable people, who did not always receive the correct medicine, while allegations of abuse were not properly reported by Great Care Home Health Care Services, which has been rated as 'inadequate' by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The company, based in West Bromwich, has been told it must show signs of improvement over the next six months or face the prospect of closure.
The CQC rated it as 'inadequate' in terms of safety and leadership, as well as overall.
Great Care, which provides care at homes across the borough, as well as in Birmingham and Worcestershire, was inspected following a death which is being investigated by the police and the CQC said 'indicated potential concerns about the management of the service and the safety of people'.
The visit resulted in the health watchdog flagging up concerns regarding how people were looked after.
It said staff from the company, which provided care in 48 homes at the time of the inspection, did not always ensure doors were locked and keys kept safe when they left, while some residents didn't receive planned check-up phone calls and there was no effective system to monitor missed calls to make sure everyone was reached, the CQC said.
It also said medicines were not always given as prescribed.
Further concerns were raised regarding the reporting of abuse and that staff were not always sure how allegations should be recorded. Poor communications systems also meant abuse allegations were not always reported to the appropriate authority.
The report said: "People were not always kept safe because staff practices had not always ensured security was maintained when staff visited people by ensuring doors were locked and keys kept safe.
"Staff had received the appropriate training so they knew how to recognise any form of abuse. However, some staff were not sure where the information should be recorded to protect a person from further harm.
"People did not always receive their calls as planned and systems were not effective to ensure missed calls were identified, so that people were at risk of not having their care call."
It continued: "The service will be kept under review and, if we have not taken immediate action to propose to cancel the provider's registration of the service, will be inspected again within six months."