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Agincare UK Medway Requires improvement

We are carrying out a review of quality at Agincare UK Medway. We will publish a report when our review is complete. Find out more about our inspection reports.


Inspection carried out on 15 July 2019

During a routine inspection

About the service

Agincare UK Medway is a domiciliary care agency providing personal care to people living in their own homes. Not everyone who used the service received personal care. CQC only inspects where people receive personal care. This is help with tasks related to personal hygiene and eating. Where they do we also consider any wider social care provided. The service was providing personal care to approximately 90 people at the time of the inspection.

People’s experience of using this service and what we found

The service people received was not always safe. The recording and administration of people’s medicines were still not carried out in a safe way, for those who needed the assistance of staff to help them to take their medicines. Other elements of care had improved. Individual risk assessments were now in place and plans to manage the risk and prevent harm were better recorded. People told us they felt safe with staff and were confident in their care. People said they felt there were enough staff as their care was rarely cancelled and staff stayed the full length of time when visiting.

The systems to monitor the quality and safety of the service had failed to pick up the areas of concern we found around people’s medicines and how these were managed and recorded. People did not provide positive feedback about how the service was run. They told us the office staff did not always contact them to make them aware of changes, such as when staff were going to be late, or not able to get to them.

Assessments were carried out with people before they started to use the service to make sure their needs could be met. People were supported to access healthcare advice and given assistance with their nutrition and hydration when this was needed. People and their relatives told us they were involved in and directed their care, making their own choices and decisions. Staff received the training and support they needed to provide safe care.

People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests; the policies and systems in the service supported this practice.

People and their relatives were positive about the staff supporting them, saying staff respected them and describing them as caring and kind.

Care plans were more person centred than before and provided better information about people’s lives and what was important to them. People had the information they needed to make a complaint if they needed to and any complaints made were investigated and followed up.

For more details, please see the full report which is on the CQC website at

Rating at last inspection and update

The last rating for this service was requires improvement (report published 17 July 2018) and there were four breaches of regulation. The provider completed an action plan after the last inspection to show what they would do and by when to improve. At this inspection we found improvements had been made in some areas which meant the provider was no longer in breach of two of the regulations. However, further improvement was needed in other areas and there were two continued breaches of regulation.

Why we inspected

This was a planned inspection based on the previous rating.


We have identified two breaches, in relation to the management and administration of people’s medicines and the monitoring of the quality and safety of the service, at this inspection.

Please see the action we have told the provider to take at the end of this report.

Follow up

We will request an action plan from the provider to set out what they will do to improve the standards of quality and safety. We will continue to monitor information we receive about the service until we return to visit as per our re-inspection programme. If we receive any concerning information we may inspect sooner.

Inspection carried out on 23 February 2016

During a routine inspection

We inspected the service on 23 February 2016. This inspection was announced. We gave short notice of the inspection because the registered manager was often out of the office supporting staff and some of the people using the service were often out at their daily activities. We needed to be sure that they would be available to speak with us. We made telephone calls to people that used the service and staff on the 26 February and 3 March 2016.

Agincare UK Medway is a domiciliary care agency which provides personal care to older people, including people with dementia and physical disabilities. Agincare UK Medway also provides a Medway Carers Respite Service. This is a four hour service, usually once a week that enables the relative of the person needing support to have a period of time for themselves. The agency provides care for people in the Medway area and the office is situated in Chatham. There were over 200 people receiving support to meet their personal care needs on the day we inspected.

The service had a registered manager. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the Care Quality Commission to manage the service. Like registered providers, they are ‘registered persons’. Registered persons have legal responsibility for meeting the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated Regulations about how the service is run.

People’s views about the service they received were positive. People told us staff were kind, caring and communicated well with them. Communication between staff within the service was good.

The service had suitable processes in place to safeguard people from different forms of abuse. Staff had been trained in safeguarding people and in the agency’s whistleblowing policy. Staff were confident that they could raise any matters of concern with the provider, the registered manager, or the local authority safeguarding team. Staff were trained in how to respond in an emergency (such as a fire, or if the person collapsed) to protect people from harm.

The registered manager and staff had received training about the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and understood when and how to support peoples best interests if they lacked capacity to make certain decisions about their care.

People were able to express their opinions and views. The field care supervisors involved people in planning their care by assessing their needs on their first visit to the person, and then by asking people if they were happy with the care they received. There was a strong emphasis on person centred care. People were supported to plan their support and they received a service that was based on their personal needs and wishes. The service was flexible and responded positively to changes in people’s needs.

The field care supervisors carried out risk assessments when they visited people for the first time. Other assessments identified people’s specific health and care needs, their mental health needs, medicines management, and any equipment needed. Care was planned and agreed between the service and the individual person concerned. People were supported by their family members to discuss their care needs, if this was their choice to do so.

People were supported with meal planning, preparation and eating and drinking. Staff supported people, by contacting the office to alert senior staff of any identified health needs so that their doctor or nurse could be informed.

People were supported and helped to maintain their health and to access health services when they needed them.

There were suitable numbers of staff available to meet people’s needs, and people were informed if their planned care had been allocated to another member of staff.

The service had robust recruitment practices in place. Applicants for post were assessed as suitable for their job roles. All staff received induction training which included essential subjects such as maintaining confidentiality, moving and handling, safeguarding people a