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Regulator demands immediate improvement by Leeds based home care agency
8 March 2013
The Care Quality Commission has issued a formal warning to Express Healthcare UK Limited, stating that they must make urgent improvements to standards of care or face further action.
The warning follows an unannounced visit by inspectors to the agency at Chengate House, Pepper Road, Leeds in West Yorkshire, on 22 January as part of CQC’s planned review of care services.
Inspectors reviewed a sample of care records and staff files, and also spoke with several members of staff and the registered manager.
As a result CQC found that the agency was failing to meet national standards covering staff recruitment procedures, supporting workers and assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision.
Inspectors were concerned that some staff training records were out of date, and arrangements had not been put in place to ensure all newly appointed staff completed an induction.
None of the ten staff files reviewed by inspectors contained a full job description so individual staff responsibilities and duties were unclear.
Inspectors found that checks carried out on staff as part of the agency’s recruitment procedures had not been fully completed before they started to visit people who use the service.
There were gaps in employment history which had not been verified by the provider, and appropriate references had not always been obtained as evidence of staff’s suitability for employment.
Inspectors found that the agency did not have appropriate systems in place to assess and monitor the quality of service being provided, or to manage the risks relating to the health, welfare and safety of people receiving care. There was no formal process followed to improve the service by learning from incidents or errors.
Malcolm Bower-Brown, CQC’s director in the North said:
"The law sets out national standards that everyone who uses services should expect to receive. Providers have a duty to ensure they meet these standards.
“This warning sends a clear and public message that Express Healthcare UK Limited need to address these issues as a matter of urgency or face serious consequences.
“Our inspectors will return to the agency in the near future and if we find that the provider is not making the required progress we won’t hesitate to use our legal powers to ensure that people using the service are receiving the standard of care they are entitled to expect.”
For further information please contact the CQC press office on 0207 448 9401 or out of hours on 07917 232 143.
Notes to editors
CQC has issued a warning notice to Express Healthcare UK Limited requiring action to meet:
- Regulation 23, Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010, Supporting workers
- Regulation 21, Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010, Requirements relating to workers
- Regulation 10, Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010, Assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision
A deadline 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.