A Dunstable home care provider has six months to improve its services or risk being closed down say health watchdogs.
Prime Care Support in Princes Street, Dunstable, provides personal care for around 205 people in their own homes.
The Care Quality Commission found people were at risk of harm due to unsafe medicines management and oversight, infection control procedures were not robust and staff were not being supported to follow government guidance for Covid testing.
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Inspectors said the company, which had been found to be ‘inadequate’ last year, remains in special measures.
The report said: “This means we will keep the service under review and, if we do not propose to cancel the provider's registration, we will
re-inspect within 6 months to check for significant improvements.
“If the provider has not made enough improvement within this timeframe and there is still a rating of inadequate for any key question or overall rating, we will take action in line with our enforcement procedures. This will mean we will begin the process of preventing the provider from operating this service. This will usually lead to cancellation of their registration or to varying the conditions of registration.
“For adult social care services, the maximum time for being in special measures will usually be no more than 12 months. If the service has demonstrated improvements when we inspect it and it is no longer rated as inadequate for any of the five key questions it will no longer be in special measures.”
The report states: “People did not always feel included in all aspects of their care, including the planning and knowledge of care visit timings. People told us this impacted negatively on their day to day lives.
“People's care plans were not personalised and did not evidence thorough assessments which promoted independence. People and relatives knew how to raise a complaint or concern, however, many lacked confidence in the provider's procedures.
"Continued failings were present at this inspection and the provider remained in breach of all regulations identified at the last inspection. The registered manager and provider lacked oversight in key areas which placed people at risk of harm. Clear and effective quality assurance systems were not embedded at the service. We received mixed feedback from people, relatives and staff regarding their communication
experiences with the registered manager, provider and office staff. Furthermore, the provider had failed to ensure the locations CQC rating was available to the public.”
But people said they were also happy with the staff who cared for them. “People told us visiting staff were caring and supportive. Visiting care staff respected people's privacy and dignity and were discreet and respectful to the needs of people. People told us information was provided to them in a way which met their communication needs,” said inspectors.
Prime Care Support has not responded to Luton Today’s request for comment