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Archived: Unique Care Services Inadequate

This service is now registered at a different address - see new profile

Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 20 February 2019

We carried out our inspection on the 11, 21 and 27 September 2017. This was unannounced on the first day of inspection and announced on the following days. '24 hours' notice of the inspection was given because the registered manager is often out of the office supporting staff. We needed to be sure that they would be available in the office. Unique Care Services is a care agency based in Ellesmere Port. It offers care and support to approximately 50 people in their own homes including personal care. They employ 37 support and office staff.

The service had a registered manager who had been in post since September 2014. We were advised following our inspection that the registered manager had resigned and were working their notice period. 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 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated regulations about how the service is run.

We identified breaches of regulation 12, 17 and 18 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.

The systems in place to protect people from the risk of harm were not effective. We found that risk assessments in place did not evidence that risks were mitigated. Clear guidance was not available within care plans to inform staff of the support they should be undertaking. This meant vulnerable people were at risk of harm.

The registered provider had not evidenced that staff had undertaken an induction or that all staff had completed training essential for their role. This meant staff may not have been up to date with skills and knowledge required for their role.

Staff had not received regular supervision and appraisal. This meant that the monitoring of staff performance was not effective and development opportunities were not considered.

The registered provider had audit systems in place for monitoring the quality of the service. These were not fully effective as they had not identified areas for development and improvement.

The registered provider had policies and procedures in place however, these were not all up-to-date and did not reflect current legislation and guidelines.

The registered provider had not notified the Care Quality Commission of all significant events that occurred at the service in line with their legal obligations. This meant that the registered provider was not complying with the law.

Staff were polite and respected people's privacy and dignity. People told us they had some regular staff that were kind and caring.

The Care Quality Commission is required by law to monitor the operation of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 and to report on what we find. We saw the registered provider had policies and guidance available to staff in relation to the MCA. Staff were able to demonstrate a basic understanding of this.

People had access to information about how to complain. The registered provider had a complaints policy and procedure in place.

The overall rating for this service is ‘Inadequate’ and the service is therefore in ‘special measures’.

Services in special measures will be kept under review and, if we have not taken immediate action to propose to cancel the provider’s registration of the service, will be inspected again within six months.

The expectation is that providers found to have been providing inadequate care should have made significant improvements within this timeframe.

If not enough improvement is made within this timeframe so that there is still a rating of inadequate for any key question or overall, we will take action in line with our enforcement procedures to begin the process of preventing the provider from operating this service. This will lead to cancelling their registration or to varying the terms of their registration within six months if they do not improve. This service wil

Inspection areas



Updated 20 February 2019

The service was not safe.

Risks to people's safety and well-being were identified but were not mitigated.

Management of medicines was not robust.

There were sufficient numbers of staff to meet the needs of the people who use the service. They had been deemed suitable through robust recruitment processes.



Updated 20 February 2019

The service was not effective.

Staff had not received all required training to meet the requirements of their role and to enable them to support people safely and effectively.

Supervision was not being provided to staff in line with best practice and the registered provider's policy.

People's rights were protected by staff that had a basic knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.


Requires improvement

Updated 20 February 2019

The service was not always caring.

The registered provider failed to develop and implement policies and procedures that promoted safe caring practices.

People's rights to privacy and dignity were respected.

People described the kind and caring approach shown by staff.


Requires improvement

Updated 20 February 2019

The service was not always responsive.

The service was not always responsive.

Care plans did not hold sufficient information to sufficiently inform staff of people�s individual needs.

Reviews were not consistently undertaken and changes to a person's needs were not always documented.

People knew how to raise concerns and complaints about the service and a policy was in place to support this.



Updated 20 February 2019

The service was not well led.

The registered provider had not informed the CQC of all significant events that occurred within the service.

The registered providers systems had not identified significant failings within the service.

The registered provider's policies and procedures were not all up to date to reflect up-to-date legislation.