A home care service in Cornwall is closing down its operations and working with the local authority to find alternative provision after a CQC inspection found that people using the service were at risk of harm.
The Regard Group – Domiciliary Care Cornwall, which cared for people with a learning disability and autism, was rated ‘Inadequate’ and put into special measures in November 2020.
The CQC sent inspectors back to the service in May to check if improvements had been made, but it was once again rated ‘Inadequate’.
During the latest inspection, further concerns were highlighted that showed unacceptable care and the regulator told the provider to submit an action plan to ensure urgent improvements were made.
Following this, the provider decided to close this location and it is now working with the local authority to find alternative accommodation for people by the closure date of August 31.
Debbie Ivanova, CQC deputy chief inspector for people with a learning disability and autistic people, said: “When we inspected The Regard Group – Domiciliary Care Cornwall, we found widespread and significant shortfalls in leadership and care which compromised the safety and wellbeing of staff and people using the service. This is not acceptable.
“We expect health and social care providers to guarantee autistic people and people with a learning disability the choices, dignity, and independence that most people take for granted.
“There continued to be a high number of safeguarding concerns from staff, people’s relatives and external healthcare professionals. Most relatives we spoke with said they did not feel their loved ones were safe at the service.”
The report noted that there weren’t enough staff to keep people using the service safe, and this also had an impact on the safety of staff.
“For example, we saw people who required two staff members to care for them, only being cared for by one which placed both people at risk,” said Ivanova.
People’s support plans were also found to be out of date, inaccurate and did not guide staff on what to do when a person was in distress.
The deputy chief inspector explained: “This was particularly concerning because the service had a high dependency on agency staff who were referring to inaccurate information, meaning people were being placed at further risk of harm and weren’t being treated as individuals.”
Ivanova continued: “The service had aspects of a closed culture which resulted in staff contacting the CQC or commissioners to raise concerns because they did feel they would be listened to or any changes would be made as a result by their own leadership team.
“The provider made the right decision to close this service so that people can receive the care and support they deserve.”