A Westminster-based domiciliary care service has been rated as “inadequate” by inspectors and placed in special measures, after failing to address key care and safety concerns.
Vincentian Care Plus provides support and care for about 140 people in their own homes. It was rated “inadequate” for safety and leadership by the Care Quality Commission.
“We identified continued breaches of regulations in regard to person centred care”
CQC inspectors found vulnerable clients were being put at risk because the provider, which was awarded a local authority contract in 2015, was failing to meet key requirements when it came to administering medicine, record-keeping and delivering person-centred care.
The latest follow-up inspection visit, in August, followed a previous comprehensive inspection during July that identified a range of issues.
While the provider had taken action to address concerns around staffing and the information it provided to the CQC, inspectors found the service was still failing to meet core standards and downgraded it from an overall rating of “requires improvement” to “inadequate”.
They concluded that clients were being put at risk because the service did not have effective systems in place to manage missed and late visits.
Clients were also “at risk of not receiving their medicines safely”, because of inadequate checks and monitoring, said the CQC in its report.
In addition, there were concerns noted by the regulator about record-keeping and care plans.
“We found that people’s care records contained gaps and were not always updated,” stated the CQC report.
“We acknowledge that more needs to be done”
Vincentian Care Plus
It said that, while people’s healthcare needs were reviewed regularly, this was not always reflected in care plans and “meant people’s care records did not always reflect their current needs”.
The initial inspection in July found the service was seeking specialist advice from community nursing teams and others but this was not always followed.
“Where appropriate, specialist advice and support had been sought in relation to meeting people’s needs and this advice was included in care plans,” stated the July CQC report.
“We saw advice from re-enablement teams, district nurses and community mental health teams was included in people’s care records,” it said. “However, staff were not always aware of or following this advice.”
The latest inspection found people had “mixed views about the quality of care they received”, but the registered manager had not taken action to address concerns.
However, the CQC noted that people also reported their regular care worker “was caring and understood their needs”, and that they were treated with dignity and respect.
Nursing home accused of lacking ‘dignity and respect’
The service has been placed in special measures and Debbie Ivanova, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of adult social care, said the regulator was currently considering what further action to take.
“We identified continued breaches of regulations in regard to person centred care, safe care and treatment, and good governance. We are considering what further action we are going to take,” she said.
“The overall rating for this service is inadequate and the service is therefore in special measures. Services in special measures will be kept under review and will be inspected again within six months,” she added.
In its reponse to the CQC report, Vincentian Care Plus said that over the last six months it had been “working hard to improve service provision, which has already demonstrated improvements in staffing and notifications”.
“We acknowledge that more needs to be done,” it said in a statement.
”Working closely with the tri-borough commissioning team, we have already implemented a service development plan, which will allow us to swiftly improve on the specific issues highlighted in the recent CQC inspection report,” it said.
It added: ”Since the most recent inspection, further work has been undertaken to ensure that Vincentian Care Plus provides safe care and treatment and person centred care. We will continue to ensure that improvement in these areas drive forward our organisational development.”