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Better Healthcare Services (Colchester) Requires improvement

This service was previously registered at a different address - see old profile

Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating

Requires improvement

Updated 26 February 2020

About the service

Better Healthcare Colchester is a domiciliary care agency. The service provides personal care to people living in their own homes in the community. At the time of this inspection, the service provided support to 132 people.

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

People were not always safe using the service as missed and late calls meant people were being left without the care they needed. People were not always safeguarded from poor care as there were not enough staff to care for people using the service.

Risk assessments did not provide assurances people were receiving the care they required, and, in the way, they needed it. Risks to people’s safety had not been reviewed or care plans updated with their up to date needs.

People’s medicines were not always given at the time prescribed. The lack of available information, regular audits and analysis of errors meant we could not be assured people received their medicines safely to manage their physical and/or mental health needs.

The service had not been consistently managed and there had been lack of clear management oversight. The role and responsibilities of office-based staff were not robust and clear for them to carry out their roles well. Quality assurance processes were not in place for the safety of the service and the management of records was disorganised.

Systems to control and prevent the risk of infection were in place. The service worked in partnership with other agencies and professionals for the benefit of people they supported.

Rating at last inspection

The last rating for this service was good (published 21 December 2018).

Why we inspected

The inspection was prompted in part due to concerns received from members of the public, staff and the local authority about risks to people’s health and safety, late and missed calls and staffing issues. A decision was made for us to inspect and examine those risks.

We have found evidence the provider needed to make improvements. Due to the nature of the concerns, we only inspected the key questions of safe and well led. You can see what action we have asked the provider to take at the end of this full report.


We found three breaches of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 in relation to safe care and treatment, staffing and good governance.

Full information about CQC’s regulatory response to the more serious concerns found during inspections is added to reports after any representations and appeals have been concluded.

Follow up

We will request an action plan for the provider to understand what they will do to improve the standards of quality and safety. We will work alongside the provider and local authority to monitor progress. We will return to visit as per our re-inspection programme. If we receive any concerning information we may inspect sooner.

Inspection areas


Requires improvement

Updated 26 February 2020

The service was not always safe.

Details are in our safe findings below.



Updated 26 February 2020



Updated 26 February 2020



Updated 26 February 2020


Requires improvement

Updated 26 February 2020

The service was not well led.

Details are in our well-led findings below.