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Cheshire homecare agency is rated as Inadequate by CQC

17 December 2014
Direct Health (Crewe)
  • Media

The Care Quality Commission has told Direct Health (Crewe) in Cheshire that it must make immediate improvements to standards of care.

During an unannounced inspection in July 2014, inspectors found that the agency  was failing to provide care which was safe, effective, caring, responsive or well led.

A full report of this inspection has been published on the CQC website this week.

Under CQC’s new programme of inspections, all adult social care services are being given a rating to help people choose care. Overall, Direct Health (Crewe) has been rated as Inadequate.

Following the inspection CQC issued the provider with four warning notices setting a deadline for improvements in relation to standards of care and welfare, safeguarding, staffing levels and quality assurance.

The report highlights several areas of concern, including:

  • People were being put at risk because staff had failed to report safeguarding incidents to the local authority for investigation or to notify CQC.
  • Staff recruitment procedures were not robust. The provider was not carrying out relevant checks when they employed staff to work with vulnerable adults.
  • Inspectors were concerned that people were not receiving consistent care, as visits were often carried out by different carers. On occasions visits were delayed or cancelled without notice.
  • The provider had failed to introduce an effective system to regularly assess and monitor the quality of service that people received
  • Care plans were not being reviewed regularly and there was little evidence to show that people had been involved in the planning of their care.

Debbie Westhead, Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care in the North said: 

“Home care agencies provide a vital service to help people get on with their daily lives, but inconsistent or unreliable care can be very worrying, particularly for people who depend on their care worker and may have no one else to call on.

“We found the care provided by Direct Health (Crewe) fell a long way short of the level of service we expect. We have told the agency that they must take action to resolve the issues we identified. The warning notices have set out clear deadlines for improvement. We will continue to work closely with the local authority to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of people using the service is fully protected.

“CQC has told the agency that it must also provide a plan detailing the actions they are taking to address all the remaining concerns. We will return in due course to check that the required improvements have been made.”


Last updated:
30 May 2017

Notes to editors


CQC has published a full report on our website.


In October 2014 CQC began rolling out its new inspection regime for adult social care services across England, using specialist teams who will inspect and rate services against what matters to the people who use them. Click here for further information.


About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.