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CQC warns Billericay care agency that it is failing to protect the safety and welfare of people

17 November 2011
Dial-A-Carer Service
Mrs Elizabeth Forbes-Stobbe
  • Media,
  • Care in your home and supported living

The Care Quality Commission has issued a formal warning to the owner of Dial a Carer domiciliary care agency that they must make urgent improvements or face further action.

The warning follows an unannounced visit by inspectors to the care agency, which has its base at Hallmark House, Downham Road, Billericay, on 10 August, to follow up concerns which CQC had said must be addressed at the time of a previous inspection.

Following the latest visit, inspectors found the owner of Dial a Carer had not made the required improvements in relation to requirements relating to workers. 

  • Inspectors looked at a sample of employee files and spoke to administrative staff and the provider.
  • They found new staff were not being recruited in a way that ensured people using the service would not be at risk from harm.
  • Some staff did not have a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check in place.
  • A number of staff had not been checked with the Independent Safeguarding Authority.
  • Some staff did not have references and one started their job without having completed an application form.
  • Since CQC’s last inspection in July 2011, the provider had introduced new systems for checking information relating to staff but these were not being efficiently implemented.
  • Checks relating to recruitment documents, including identification, were therefore not followed up with staff for some months after they had started work.

Frances Carey, regional director of CQC in the East of England, said: "The law says that these are the standards that everyone should be able to expect. Providers have a duty to ensure they are compliant.

“This warning sends a clear and public message that the owner of Dial a Carer needs to address this issue as a matter of urgency or face serious consequences.

“Our inspectors will return in the near future and if we find that the required progress is not made we won’t hesitate to use our legal powers to protect the people who use this service."

Dial a Carer is a domiciliary care agency that provides care workers for people requiring help in their own home.


For further information please contact Louise Grifferty, regional communications manager, on 07717 422917 or the CQC press office on 0207 448 9401 or out of hours on 07917 232 143.

Notes to editors

CQC will publish further details of the inspectors’ findings in a review of compliance on its website at a later date.

CQC has issued the warning notice to the owner of Dial a Carer domiciliary care agency in Billericay, Essex, requiring that action is taken to meet:

  • Regulation 21 (a)(i)(ii) and (b) requirements relating to workers, Health and Social Care Act (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010.

Inspectors will carry out a further unannounced visit to assess whether the necessary improvements have been made.

If improvements are not made, CQC has a range of enforcement powers which include restricting the services that a provider can offer, or, in the most serious cases, suspending or cancelling a service. CQC can also issue financial penalty notices and cautions or prosecute the provider for failing to meet essential standards. Any regulatory decision that CQC takes is open to challenge by a registered person through a variety of internal and external appeal processes.