Bedford home care agency for the elderly 'requires improvement' despite mixed inspection report

Health watchdog was unhappy it didn’t always have the right care plans in place
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A care agency which provides support and personal care to elderly people living in their own homes ‘requires improvement,’ says a health watchdog.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited those receiving support from KS Care in Bedford – many of whom often have dementia, mental health needs, learning disabilities or autism. However, at the time of the inspectors’ three visits in October, no-one with a learning disability or autism was being cared for.

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The health watchdog said three aspects it critiques – namely safety, responsiveness and leadership – ‘required improvement’ but effectiveness and whether the service was caring were ‘good’.

And despite our attempts to contact the Elstow Road service last week, it has so far yet to provide a statement.

The CQC report revealed:

Audits were either not in place or were not effective in identifying areas for improvement

People did not always have the right care plans in place – and these were not detailed enough

Inspectors said: "Staff recorded how they supported people during care visits. However, daily notes did not record how people were feeling and only recorded what support staff had given in relation to essential care needs such as personal care. This made it more difficult to monitor if people were receiving personalised care.”

And added: “There was limited information in people's care plans relating to how staff could communicate with them. The management team did not share any documents with us which had been produced in an easy read format. We could not be assured people were being fully supported.”

The report also stated KS Care had not informed the health watchdog of statutory notifications which it is required to do so by law.

Inspectors said: “For example, they had not let us know of serious injuries to people such as pressure sores or a fall which ended up in an injury for a person. The management team completed this retrospectively during our inspection.”

However, on the plus side, the CQC said:

The management team completed spot checks whilst staff were working to make sure training had been effective

People were supported to be independent if this was their choice

People and relatives were positive about the kind and caring nature of staff

The report added: “Despite our findings people were positive about the support from staff. One person said, ‘As far as caring staff go this service is the best. They take their time to make sure I am happy’.

“People told us staff were kind and caring and treated them with compassion. Staff made efforts to get to know people as individuals and support them in line with their preferences.”

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