An Isle of Wight care service, where seven allegations of financial abuse were made in just over a month, has been rated ‘Inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission.
At the time of inspection in January, Dolphin Care was providing personal care to 14 people in Ventnor.
But the provider has now been placed into special measures and will be kept under review.
Inspectors found that the allegations of financial abuse were incorrectly handled by the managers at the service.
Seven allegations of financial abuse were made between October 18 and November 30 2018, three of which were not reported to the safeguarding authority as required.
Inspectors said that whist investigating the allegations of abuse, the registered manager received clear evidence that other people were at risk of abuse. However, they did not take action to protect other vulnerable people for three weeks and during this time, four of the seven instances of financial abuse occurred.
The CQC report noted that some, or all, of these incidents could have been prevented if managers had acted more quickly and followed standard safeguarding procedures designed to protect people from abuse.
Responding to the report, registered manager Pauline Smart said: “At the time of the inspection, policies and procedures of the agency were found not to be robust enough to ensure service users were protected in accordance with CQC standards.
“Due to this financial abuse took place, reimbursement was made and apologies were given in writing. Agency policies and procedures are being urgently addressed to become CQC compliant and safe for all parts of service users care at this time.
“The feedback we have had back from service users is total support. They have all said how great the care is. Even in the report it says the clients are more than happy with the care they have been receiving and are still receiving.”
Inspectors also found that safe recruitment practices were not always followed, with one applicant having been hired despite being the subject of a safeguarding investigation and having previous convictions.
Medicines were not always managed safely by the service, the CQC report said, and staff had not always completed training that was essential to their role.
However, people’s rights were upheld; they were empowered to make their own choices and decisions and were involved in the development of their personalised care plans, inspectors found.
The service was rated ‘Good’ for being caring and responsive, ‘Requires Improvement’ for being effective, and ‘Inadequate’ for being safe and well-led.