Crowborough home care service in ‘special measures’


A home care firm based in The Broadway, Crowborough, has been placed in ‘special measures’ following a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection late last year.

The action is taken to ensure care ‘significantly improves’.

The CQC said Care at Home, with about 130 people on its books, was not always well-led. They identified problems with recruitment, support, training and supervision of staff. Overall the service was rated ‘inadequate’ with headings such as safety, effectiveness and caring ‘requiring improvement’ and leadership also ‘inadequate.’ They issued warning notices relating to breaches in standards of health and social care.

However MD Deborah McDowell highlighted ‘numerous positive comments in the full report that indicate many areas of the business are working to the standards required’.

An inspector spoke to people using the service, relatives, staff and managers and sent out questionnaires. Mixed responses were received with comments varying from ‘poor organisation’ and ‘very disorganised’ to those who were positive about management and service. Ms McDowell said questionnaire replies before the inspection showed 96 per cent of people said the agency enabled them to be as independent as possible. Some users told the CQC that they did not get continuity of care, or a care worker of the gender they requested: “I ask for one, and I get a different one. The list is not always right and I just don’t know who is coming.”

Ms McDowell said the branch had no issues which have affected the health of any individual. She said the CQC report says staff are ‘kindly, approachable and there are no missed calls’. The inspection, she said, took place when they were training new staff and ‘it is vital to remember it is not always possible to adhere to call times due to the geographical nature of the Wealden district.’

She concluded: “We are confident that by working with the CQC we can meet all required standards within the timescales agreed.”

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