Care agency put into special measures after inspection

A Preston care agency has been placed in Special Measures following a damning inspection report.
Direct Health on Moor Park Avenue in PrestonDirect Health on Moor Park Avenue in Preston
Direct Health on Moor Park Avenue in Preston

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) told Direct Health (UK) Limited it must make improvements to protect the safety and welfare of people who use its services.

The care agency, based in Moor Park Avenue, was rated as Requires Improvement last year and the CQC requested an action plan on how it was going to meet requirements.

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Although some improvements have been made, its latest inspection found little in the way of improvement in respect of safe management of medication and systems for assessing the quality of service.

A report states: “Further deterioration in the quality of care was noted as a result of the lack of adequate staff supervision and insufficient leadership and oversight. This inspection rated the service as Inadequate.”

Other findings include:

- Processes in place to support and help people were not robust enough and at times compromised safety

- The service was unreliable because not all carers were punctual or stayed for the duration of the call.

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Debbie Westhead of the CQC said: “We found the care provided by Direct Health (Preston) was of a very poor standard. In particular, we are concerned that people did not receive care at the time they were supposed to. This did not meet their needs and also placed them at risk.”

A Direct Health spokesman said: “We would like to reassure our Direct Heath (Preston) Customers that they remain to be our priority, alongside our commitment to deliver the highest quality standards of health and social care.

“Since the Inspection took place in June we have been working to a very specific action plan, with guidance from the CQC to address the concerns raised. We take heart from the fact that the report acknowledges our improvements around person centred care, staff induction, training and maintenance of care records and strive to bring all elements of care delivery up to the same high levels.”

The CQC is working with Lancashire County Council to ensure people receiving care are not placed at further risk.

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