A CARE agency in Chichester has closed after a ‘disturbing’ shortfall in standards which exposed customers to significant risk of harm.
Caring For You (Chichester) Ltd, which cares for people in their own homes, voluntarily cancelled its registration after a damming report from the Care Quality Commission which outlined a number of failures and major concerns.
Inspectors from CQC reported a range of concerns, including staff lacking skills and experience, low staffing levels, poor documentation and people’s complaints not being recorded or resolved.
Regional director of CQC in the south east, Roxy Boyce said the service fell short of the standards people had a right to expect.
“This is very disturbing when you consider many of those affected are frail and vulnerable people,” she said.
“CQC found clear evidence the provider was not maintaining essential standards of quality and safety, meaning people were exposed to significant risk of harm.”
Customers were put at risk after falsely positive reports of improvement were made to professionals from the safeguarding team and the commissioning team at West Sussex County Council.
The company failed to fully investigate the possible theft of large sums of money from customers, and instances where care documents were falsified.
Although there was evidence of some disciplinary action being initiated, there was no evidence of a proper investigation.
There were two complaints relating to evening medication being either missed or given too early as care staff made their last visit at 4pm to 4.30pm.
There were major concerns about the level of medication errors and the lack of proper staff training.
A statement from the company said they took their responsibility seriously in their provision of care services.
The statement continued: “All necessary action has been taken to rectify any areas of concern.
“We have assisted the police in their enquiries into any missing money from clients and reiterate that no charges have been brought against the company or any of the care staff.
“Due to the issues raised in this investigation and the deadlines imposed, Caring For You (Chichester) Ltd made the decision to de-register the company and have worked closely with West Sussex County Council and CQC to achieve a smooth transition of our clients to other providers.”