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CQC warns Darlington Borough Council that they are failing to protect the safety and welfare of people

10 May 2012
Darlington Borough Council In House Home Care
Darlington Borough Council
  • Media

10 May 2012

The Care Quality Commission has issued a formal warning to Darlington Borough Council, stating that they must make urgent improvement to standards of care or face further action.  

The warning follows an unannounced visit by inspectors to Darlington Borough Council In House Home Care, Central House, Gladstone Street, Darlington on 27 February 2012 to check compliance against shortfalls previously identified following a review of compliance visit on 14 and 22 September 2011. 

Inspectors found that improvements had not been made and that people were still at risk due to the unsafe management of medicines. Inspectors found that records relating to medicines were not complete and that care plans were out of date.

Guidance provided for staff relating to the level of support people needed with their medicines was conflicting. Staff were not able to accurately account for the administration of individual medicines that had been prescribed for people.

On examination of one service users records there was confusion over whether the user self medicated. Information was unclear and conflicting. In respect of another service user, there was a hand written entry of “administer meds” which was not signed or dated. It was unclear as to whether or not the care plan had been updated and whether it was an accurate record

Sheila Grant, Regional Lead for CQC in the North East Region, 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 to Darlington Borough Council that they need to address this issue as a matter of urgency or face serious consequences.

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

“We will continue to monitor this care home. If there was evidence that people were at risk, we would take immediate action."

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For further information please contact the CQC Regional Communications Team, David Fryer 07901 514 220 or Kirstin Hannaford 0191 233 3629.

The CQC press office can be contacted 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 warning notices toDarlington Borough Council requiring action to meet:

  • Regulation 13, Health and Social Care Act (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2009, medicines management.

A deadline of 30 April 2012 has been given for improvement. If this deadline is not met, 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.