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CQC warns SCA Care agency that it is failing to protect the safety and welfare of people

15 January 2013
  • Media,
  • Care in your home and supported living

15 January 2013

The four warning notices follow two unannounced inspections of SCA Care in November and December. The agency currently provides care for 144 clients in their own homes in Poole and the surrounding areas.

Inspectors found that the agency was in breach of national regulations covering the care and welfare of people, meeting nutritional needs, managing medicines, and monitoring the quality of its services.

  • The agency failed to plan how people’s care was to be delivered to ensure their needs were met in line with agreed visit times. Care workers were missing support visits to people living in their own homes.
  • People who relied on the service were not always being supported to eat and drink sufficient amounts to meet their needs.
  • Appropriate arrangements were not in place in relation to the recording of medicine, and medicines were not safely administered.
  • Contingency plans for dealing with emergencies were not effective and did not ensure people’s needs were met safely. This meant the agency was unable to effectively identify, assess and manage risks posed to vulnerable people.
  • Individuals and their relatives encountered significant and persistent difficulties making contact with the SCA office to attempt to address difficulties or ask for help.

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.

“We have found that often people weren’t getting their medicines on time, they were missing meals, and when they or their families rang up to get help, no-one appeared to be listening or taking action.

“SCA Care must not take on any new clients until this has been resolved to our satisfaction.They must send us weekly reports and we will continue to monitor the service working closely with the Borough of Poole to ensure that no-one is at risk.

“We will return in the near future and if we find that this 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 SCA Care is in breach of

  • Regulation 9, Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010 – care and welfare of people
  • Regulation 14, Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010 – Nutrition Regulation 13, Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010 – management of medicines
  • Regulation 10, Health and Social Care Act 2008 (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.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.