Bedford service which supports dementia patients in their own homes put in special measures

“One of the carers lied about when she arrived and the time she left, which is silly because I have cameras at the back and front of the house”
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An ‘inadequate' Bedford service which supports dementia patients in their own homes has been placed in special measures after a damning report.

Better Healthcare Services – which operates out of Salamander House, in John’s Street – was rated inadequate when it comes to safety and whether the organisation was well-led.

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A patient with dementia (File picture: Pixabay)A patient with dementia (File picture: Pixabay)
A patient with dementia (File picture: Pixabay)

It had previously been rated good in the categories for effective, caring and responsive.

But this time, inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) were focused on safety and the running of the company during their visits in June.

And for that reason, Better Healthcare Services has been placed in special measures – and will be re-inspected in six months.

It’s well documented by care professionals that people diagnosed with dementia should stay living at home for as long as possible with support.

But CQC inspectors found major issues with staff – including timekeeping and lying about how long they spend with dementia patients.

They said: “Records showed staff did not always stay for the full duration of their care calls. We also found that staff had not documented why they had left early.

"In addition, a relative told us, ‘the thing is, they don't stay long enough, like yesterday (patient) couldn't have a shower. Staff say ‘we cannot stay, we are too busy.’”

The report went on to say: “In addition to our findings relating to staffing, a relative told us, ‘last week, one of the carers lied about when she arrived and the time she left, which is silly because I have cameras at the back and front of the house.’”

There was also no evidence two regular agency staff had completed any training relating to their roles.

When it came to administering medicine to dementia patients, Better Healthcare Services also came under fire.

Inspectors also found:

People did not always receive their medicines safely

Medication records were not always signed by staff so they couldn’t keep track

Huge errors on the records including people's allergies not always fully listed

Some staff were not medically trained and some patient’s health risks were beyond their skill and expertise

Staff had not sought medical advice when they experienced epileptic activity

Inspectors found at the time of their visit, there was not a registered manager in post

Despite attempts to give Better Healthcare Services a right of reply, Bedford Today has yet to hear back from the company.

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