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CQC rates Northumberland care service as Inadequate

31 August 2017
Stocksfield and Haltwhistle
  • Media

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated the quality of services being provided by Stocksfield and Haltwhistle, a domiciliary care service in Northumberland, as Inadequate following an inspection in June and July.

Stocksfield and Haltwhistle provides personal care and support to people within their own homes or the community in Hexham, Haltwhistle and the surrounding areas. At the time of this inspection 268 people were being supported by the service.

This service was previously inspected in November 2016 and rated as Requires Improvement after CQC inspectors found breaches of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

Read the full report from the inspection.

Debbie Westhead, CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector for Adult Social Care said:

“People are entitled to services providing them with safe, effective, and high quality care. We found care provided by Stocksfield and Haltwhistle fell short of the standard that services are expected to provide.

“We found breaches in regulation at our previous inspection and disappointingly found limited progress has been made in addressing these despite us telling them where they must improve.

“Although we recognise that new management were dealing with historic issues, new processes for improvement had not yet been implemented or embedded.

“People were not always receiving medicines as their doctor had prescribed them, putting them at risk.

“We are working with local partners including Northumberland County Council to ensure the safety of people using this service.”

Other findings from the inspection included:

  • Although incidents were recorded on their system, actions were not always recorded, and there was no analysis to learn from them or spot trends to help avoid them in future.
  • Staff did not always follow the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act.
  • Surveys had not been completed to gain the views of people, their relatives or staff at the service.

CQC expect that improvements will be made, and will return in due course to check on the progress of these.


For further information please contact CQC Regional Engagement Officer Kerri James by email or by phone on 07464 92 9966.

Journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the media team here.

Please note: the press office is unable to advise members of the public on health or social care matters. For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
31 August 2017

Notes to editors


Under CQC’s programme of inspections, all adult social care services are given a rating to help people choose care. We ask five questions, are services; safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led.


Since 1 April, providers have been required by law to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily. This should be done within 21 days of publication of their inspection report. Further information on the display of CQC ratings.


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.