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East London care service rated Inadequate

6 April 2017
Smile Care Agents
  • Care in your home and supported living

An East London domiciliary care service has been rated Inadequate overall and has been placed into special measures.

At a recent inspection in January 2017, CQC inspectors found that the Smile Care Agents service based in Church Road, Leyton, was rated Inadequate for being safe, effective, responsive and well-led. It was rated Requires Improvement for being caring.

The service provides care and support to 20 primarily older people in their own homes that have mostly recently been discharged from hospital and need up to six weeks rehabilitation.

CQC inspectors found the key failings were:

  • There were no risk assessments completed for any person that used the service despite serious risks having been identified by the referrer at the point of referral.
  • The provider did not ensure safe staff recruitment. There were no references from previous employers for any of the staff employed. Issues around criminal records checks for care workers were not followed up or risk assessed. Information held for care workers regarding their recruitment was inconsistent. The provider was unclear on how many staff were employed.
  • People and relatives told us that they regularly experienced late visits. There were no rotas detailing staff deployment. Visit times for people were not documented on their care records.
  • There was no management oversight of quality assurance to ensure that care was being delivered safely and effectively.

Debbie Ivanova, CQC's Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, said:

“There was a lack of management oversight to ensure that care was being delivered safely and effectively at Smile Care Agents. This meant that the service was fundamentally unsafe."

“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, it will be inspected again within six months.”

You can read the report in full on our website.


For further information please contact Ray Cooling, Regional Engagement Manager (London), on 020 7448 9136 or call the press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours. 

Journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the 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:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

To get to the heart of people’s experiences of care, we always ask the following five questions of services.

  • Are they safe?
  • Are they effective?
  • Are they caring?
  • Are they responsive to people’s needs?
  • Are they well-led?

Providers are 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.


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.