Slough care provider ruled 'inadequate' by Care Quality Commission

Shay Bottomley

A care provider in Slough has been found to be ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which said the service is ‘not safe’.

Following an inspection from November 3-11, a 23-page report released on December 30 details the first inspection for the newly registered Global Care Ltd, which provides care to people living in their own homes.

The findings reveal that a safeguarding policy was in place to instruct staff on procedures they should follow if they suspected abuse or they received allegations of abuse, but this was not followed by the provider.

The CQC received information of concern regarding one resident, whose care plan showed they tended to choke and needed supervision during mealtimes, but food had been left on their bed by care staff.

The report also found that care staff ‘did not always attend at the agreed times or remain the duration of scheduled calls’.

In one instance, a health and social care professional told the CQC that they had arranged essential training for staff at the regular visit time at one resident’s home.

However, when the professional arrived, they were told that the care staff had already visited prior to the scheduled time.

The CQC added that ‘minutes of staff meetings showed the manager had spoken to staff about leaving calls early but had taken no action when this practice continued’.

The CQC said vulnerable people were not always supported by staff who had been recruited safely with ‘no explanations for gaps in employment history’. No evidence was found that people were harmed.

Staff were not appropriately trained, it said, with one member’s most recent essential training being on March 25, 2019.

The report added that ‘people were not kept safe from the risk of infection as the provider failed to follow their policy and government guidance in relation to COVID-19’.

Government guidance and policy at the time said staff should undertake weekly COVID-19 tests, but Global Care Ltd could not provide any test results for staff, who confirmed they had not been taking tests weekly.

The service has been placed in special measures, with an action plan required by the CQC and a follow-up visit within six months.

Muhammad Ali, care manager for the provider, said that the company was ‘left with no choice but to retain the momentum of the service’ when it was acquired by Global Care Ltd in July 2019.

He added: “Our clients were satisfied with the services provided to limited-service users despite all the hurdles faced by staff and management in ensuring quality care.

“Despite all the efforts to ensure the services we had few incidents which required immediate training and awareness to the team members, but unfortunately only online training was available. In-person one-to-one training was not available during this pandemic crisis.

“The company was in a real critical situation when the register manager left the service in May 2021.

“The above-mentioned reasons are not to justify the outcome by CQC in our inspection, but Global Care Ltd management and directors are positive that we will fulfil all the requirements mentioned in report before the time of re-inspection.”

He added that a number of ‘re-engineering measures’ were being implemented to meet the CQC’s requirements, including:

Engaging a qualified manager with medical background and with 16 years of experience in health and social care.

A ‘robust recruitment system’ to ensure the competency of the staff in provision of care.

QAF (Quality Assurance Framework) to be in place with up to date auditing to ensure the quality of care.

Engagement of external and internal trainers for staff and management for better understanding of provision of care.

An action plan to ‘ensure continuous improvement’ according to the CQC’s key lines of inquiry.

Up to date compliance and due diligence to be in place ‘supported by the provider's internal back office’.

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