A domiciliary care agency in London has been rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and placed in special measures, following an inspection undertaken in August.
Brisen Company Ltd, Greenwich, provides short-term care to people in their homes and was previously rated as good. This inspection was carried out to follow up on concerns shared with CQC about the standards of care being provided to people at the service.
CQC found that some staff were late to visits, medicine management was poor and risks to people weren’t properly assessed or mitigated. There had been a significant increase in the number of people the service cared for in recent months, which had an impact on the care provided.
The service was found to have breached a number of regulations and has been placed in special measures, which means it will be kept under close review by CQC to ensure the necessary improvements are made. CQC won’t hesitate to take further action if it’s not assured that people are safe in its care.
James Frewin, CQC head of adult social care inspection, said:
“We take all reports of poor care extremely seriously and inspected Brisen Company based on concerns shared with us.
“We were disappointed to find a significant deterioration in the levels of care being provided to people, which fell way below the standards expected. Staff arrived late to visits, people weren’t always respected or treated with kindness and safeguarding concerns weren’t always reported to CQC.
“The issues were putting people at risk, so we have placed the service in special measures and been clear about the improvements that must be urgently made.
“If we are not satisfied that people are safe, we will take further action, which could mean restricting the terms under which the agency operates, or even closing the service altogether.”
At the inspection, people told CQC that they didn’t feel safe and that staff were frequently late, meaning that relatives had to provide support instead.
Risks to people resulting from their health conditions, medication or mobility needs weren’t sufficiently assessed or managed and care plans failed to address people’s behavioural or emotional needs.
Staff didn’t always have sufficient skills or training to safely perform their roles and recruitment checks weren’t always carried out to ensure the suitability of the people employed to provide care.
Incidents and accidents weren’t always properly recorded or reported and weren’t reviewed and shared with staff for ongoing learning and improvement.
The individual needs, beliefs and preferences of people weren’t always considered, and care wasn’t person-centred. People felt that staff didn’t have time to chat with them and they received little meaningful interaction with their carers.
One person told us “staff rush when they come in and they are in a rush until they go” while another said, “What [staff] are doing for me is not what I need. If I say anything to the carers, things don’t change.”
Staff didn’t always respect people’s privacy and dignity. One family member told us they had to ask for the door to be closed while their relative was being showered, while another person didn’t feel they were spoken to respectfully when they were found on the floor by their care worker, which added to their upset.
The issues at the service were exacerbated by poor leadership, and the registered manager was unaware of the issues identified at the inspection.
However, leaders and staff had an understanding of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and worked within the principles of it, and the service also worked alongside the local authority to make improvements.