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CQC warns Prestige Nursing agency that it has been failing to protect the safety and welfare of people
29 November 2012
The Care Quality Commission has issued a formal warning to Prestige Nursing Limited that it faces further enforcement action unless it makes urgent improvements to standards of care.
The warning notices followed an unannounced visit by inspectors to the Prestige Nursing agency in Exeter on 25 and 28 September 2012. Inspectors found that the agency had failed to ensure that people who lived in their own home were appropriately supported by their homecare services. The agency was found to be non compliant with all of the nine essential standards inspected.
Inspectors found a number of concerns relating to the service:
- Staff shortages which resulted in people having missed visits, staff arriving late and not staying for expected time.
- Safeguarding concerns not being raised because staff did not have information about how to report concerns to the local authority safeguarding team.
- Staff update training was overdue and staff were not receiving regular supervision or appraisals.
- Poor communication systems between the agency, the people they visited and with their staff.
- The systems in place to identify and manage risk to people were not working effectively as the quality monitoring systems had lapsed.
- The provider had not taken swift action in response to incidents and complaints to prevent ongoing risks to people. This meant several people did not receive the care they needed.
After the inspection, the local authority suspended further placements and the agency agreed not to accept new clients until the service improved. Senior staff from Prestige Nursing Limited have been worked in partnership with Devon County Council, CQC and the NHS to make the required improvements.
Inspectors carried out a further visit to the agency last week to follow up the warning notices and found significant improvements.
Ian Biggs, deputy director of CQC in the South said:
“Care agencies provide a vital service to help people get on with their daily lives. But if they can’t be relied on to turn up as planned - it can be very worrying, particularly for people who depend on their care worker and may have no one else to call on.
“Prestige Nursing has now taken action to make improvements which include reducing the staff workload and adding travelling time between visits. This should mean people receive their visits as planned, for the allotted time. A new manager has been appointed and extra staff are being recruited to cover evening and weekend visits.
“Although the safeguarding concerns have now been lifted, our inspectors will keep the agency under review, working closely with NHS Devon and Devon County Council to ensure that people are not at undue risk of harm.
“We will return in the near future and if we find that the agency is not making the required progress we won’t hesitate to use our legal powers to protect the people who use the service."
For further information please contact the CQC press office on 0207 448 9401 or out of hours on 07917 232 143.
Notes to editors
The warning notices find that Prestige Nursing Exeter was in breach of:
- Regulation 22, Health and Social Care Act (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010, Staffing.
- Regulation 10, Health and Social Care Act (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010, Assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision.
If the required improvements are not made within a set timescale, 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.