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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 15 July 2013
Date of Publication: 28 August 2013
Inspection Report published 28 August 2013 PDF | 64.66 KB

There should be enough members of staff to keep people safe and meet their health and welfare needs (outcome 13)

Not met this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Are safe and their health and welfare needs are met by sufficient numbers of appropriate staff.

How this check was done

We looked at the personal care or treatment records of people who use the service, carried out a visit on 15 July 2013, talked with people who use the service and talked with carers and / or family members. We talked with staff, talked with commissioners of services and talked with other authorities.

Our judgement

There were not enough qualified, skilled and experienced staff to meet people’s needs.

Reasons for our judgement

The inspection of the DoCare service was completed as a result of information given to the CQC by a whistleblower. DoCare had been split into three area teams Yate and Kingswood, Stroud and Gloucester, Cirencester and Cheltenham. Allegations from a whistle blower were that the service was short staffed in the Stroud and Gloucester team and that people who had been assessed as needing assistance from two carers were sent one carer due to the service being short staffed.

We spoke with the Stroud and Gloucester manager who told us staffing levels were lower in this team than other teams within the service. We were told the service was in the process of recruiting more care staff. They told us new care staff had recently been recruited but some of these new staff had left during the induction period. In addition two long term staff had resigned recently leaving the team to cover extra calls. This meant some people who needed two carers had been sent one carer. The manager said in these circumstances they had completed a risk assessment to ensure that both staff and service user were not at risk of harm.

We spoke with Gloucestershire County Council regarding this. They had reported concerns to the provider regarding missed calls, staff arriving late for visits and people not being contacted and told what was going on.

During our inspection we checked three people's records that needed two carers, spoke with them about their experience of the service and asked if staffing levels were good. It was clear that these allegations were accurate. Three out of three people we spoke with told us about times they had been sent one carer instead of two. They told us “The staff are very caring and work very hard on occasions I have been sent one carer instead of two if the service was short staffed “and “staff arrive on time are wonderful sometimes one carer will arrive but if this happened I feel safe as the staff are trained and familiar “and “The staff are my angels very caring. I have been sent one carer in the past”.

We looked at the records of the three people to see how they were supported with their care if one or two carers were sent. We saw evidence that people had two risk assessments in place. The risk assessments were clear and instructed staff how people should be cared for if either one or two carers were sent. Risk assessments explained the support people needed to meet their needs and identified any risks.

We spoke with staff who worked in the Stroud and Gloucester team. They confirmed that staffing levels were lower in their team. They told us "Staffing is ok but when people take annual leave or sickness it is hard to cover their runs” and “On occasions when the team is short staffed I have covered double up calls on my own which I do not like doing” and “I love my job but it gets me down as we work under pressure” and “I have carried out double up calls on my own due to staffing issues but people seem happy with this”.

This meant there were not enough qualified, skilled and experienced staff to meet people’s needs. Staffing levels were not consistent in accordance with peoples planned delivery of care.