A Bedford agency which provides care for people in their own homes has been criticised for its inadequate leadership.
According to inspectors at the Care Quality Commission (CQC), LightBulb Bespoke Care requires improvement.
Although the care agency - which is based in The Broadway - was given a good rating for being caring and responsive, inspectors said it required improvement in the categories for safety and effectiveness.
But more telling was its inadequate rating for leadership.
A spokesperson for LightBulb Bespoke Care said: "We acknowledge the findings of the CQC report. The period in question was characterised by significant operational, staff and
structural challenges resulting from the Covid 19 pandemic and consequent restrictions that we had to contend with as a frontline organisation.
"We have taken the recommendation on board and we have made improvements consequent to the inspection findings and will continue doing so.
"LightBulb Bespoke Care Ltd is totally determined to providing a high standard of care and we have an agreed plan in place with CQC to ensure that the issues identified as needing improvement are addressed. I am glad to advise that improvements are on course.
"There is a new manager in place driving the changes and working with different stakeholders and staff coupled with other improvements to systems, structure and culture.
"We are pleased that CQC rated our services as good in areas of caring and effectiveness and we will definitely continue to build on our organisational strengths to ensure that needs of our service users are met and their welfare enhanced.
"We will continue to work with the CQC, our commissioners and the families and carers of the people we support to ensure that we deliver a high standard of care. We will seek feedback from our service users and other stakeholders to continue to learn lessons and address accordingly."
As a result of its findings, the health watchdog has requested an action plan from LightBulb Bespoke Care about what it plans to do to improve the standards of quality and safety on a monthly basis.
The report found:
*People were at risk of poor care and treatment because the registered manager did not have effective auditing and governance systems in place to monitor the quality of the service
*Other than medication audits, no other audits were completed
*In most cases staff’s previous experiences in previous care jobs had been relied upon
*People were not always supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives
However, people said staff treated them with kindness and respect and knew them well as individuals.
Staff also spoke with passion and knowledge about the people they were supporting.
People and relatives were positive about the registered manager and care-coordinator at the service.
And staff felt they could approach the registered manager for support if this was needed - with the staff team working with external and health professionals to support people to achieve good outcomes.