CQC takes action to protect people at Birmingham care agency

Published: 10 April 2024 Page last updated: 10 April 2024

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated Living Glory Social Care in Birmingham, inadequate, and placed it in special measures to protect people following an inspection in January.

Living Glory Social Care is a domiciliary care agency providing personal care to people living in their own homes, including children, adults, and people with learning disabilities. At the time of this inspection, there were 228 people receiving care.

The inspection was prompted in part due to concerns received about staffing, poor care practices, missed, short or late call times, and poor medicines management. A decision was made for CQC to inspect and examine those risks.

Following the inspection, as well as the overall rating for the care agency declining to inadequate, as have the areas of safe, and well-led. Caring, effective and responsive are rated requires improvement. The service was previously rated good overall, and for being safe, responsive, effective, caring, and well-led.

The service has been placed in special measures which means it will be kept under close review by CQC to keep people safe and it will be monitored to check sufficient improvements have been made. CQC is also taking regulatory action which will be reported on when legally able to do so.

Amanda Lyndon, CQC deputy director of operations in the midlands, said:

“When we inspected Living Glory Social Care, it was concerning that standards had slipped, and people were at risk of poor care which could place them at harm. This service looks after a large amount of people who rely on staff for their basic care needs and leaders must make the necessary improvements as a matter of urgency to ensure people can receive the level of care they deserve.   

“It’s unacceptable that people often received late or short visits, and we heard that some visits were missed entirely which placed people at risk of neglect and harm. This was particularly worrying for people who couldn’t access their own food, drink, or medication as it could cause dehydration, hunger and could impact on existing health conditions.

“Leaders didn’t ensure safeguarding processes were followed to identify when people were at risk of abuse. Where incidents happened, the correct actions weren’t always taken or reported to the appropriate authorities. During this inspection, we raised several alerts to the local safeguarding team as we found people were at risk from abuse.

“Leaders must ensure all care visits are recorded and planned appropriately. Only 90 people had been added to the provider's planning system, when they care for more than 228 people. This meant people not added to their system weren’t having their call times monitored to ensure they were taking place.  

“We have told leaders where we expect to see rapid, widespread improvements and will continue to monitor the home closely to keep people safe during this time.  We will return to check on their progress and won’t hesitate to take further action if people aren’t receiving the care they have a right to expect.”

Inspectors found:

  • Risk assessments were either not in place or weren’t sufficiently detailed to help staff provide safe care
  • Living Glory Social Care’s recruitment systems were inadequate and safe recruitment practices weren’t always followed
  • People were at risk of harm from receiving care and support from unsuitable staff
  • Records confirmed that a single staff member sometimes attended calls for people who required two staff to support them safely
  • People weren’t supported to receive their medicines safely
  • Staff sometimes attended calls without wearing uniforms, instead wearing their own clothes, including tops with long sleeves increasing infection risks
  • Some people and relatives reported that they weren’t involved in their initial assessments completed before starting to use the service or any ongoing care reviews
  • People weren’t always supported to eat and drink enough to maintain a balanced diet
  • The provider had failed to update their own policies and procedures since 2016. This meant guidance was not always reflective of current legislation.

The report will be published on CQC’s website in the next few days.

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.