Toddington homecare service "marked down for paperwork" needs to improve says health watchdog

A Toddington homecare service has been told it requires improvement after its first watchdog report.

By Lynn Hughes
Monday, 20th June 2022, 2:20 pm

Karemill Homecare, on the Angel Business Centre in Luton Road, which first registered in 2021, has been told some aspects of the service were not always safe, in a report by the Care Quality Commission.

Commissioners said: “We found no evidence that people had been harmed however, systems to assess and manage risks were not robust to keep people safe. There was however a risk of people being harmed.”

They also looked at the support for people’s care and treatment and found: “people's care, treatment and support did not always achieve good outcomes or was inconsistent.”

The homecare service has only been running a year - stock picture

The service was found to be ‘good’ on treating people with compassion and respect.

Karemill director Duncan Millar said they were disappointed to have been marked down for paperwork but that they had now put more robust audit systems in place.

"The issues weren’t care-related, it was just on the admin side,” he said. "We were very pleased with the responses from family members. They were very positive."

The family-run service provides support to people over and under the age of 65, people living with dementia, people living with a physical disability and people living with a sensory impairment, in their own homes.

Mr Millar added they were actively trying to recruit new staff but, along with the rest of the care industry, were struggling to find staff.

Read More

Read More
Hospital waiting lists: The busiest departments at Bedfordshire Hospitals Trust

The inspectors said: “Relatives told us the staff were kind and caring. One relative said, "The [staff] have a sensitive demeanour to their personality in all they do." Another relative told us, "The [staff] provide us reassurance. They acknowledge us both and involve [family member] in all they do."

"Relatives spoke positively about the care provided. Relatives told us the staff team were familiar and made them feel safe. One relative said, "Knowing the [staff] means we can trust them." Another relative said, "We were initially anxious with receiving care but now rely on the [staff] and the support provided."

But the home requires improvement on being responsive to the needs of people. The report said: “The information within care plans was limited and did not provide detail of people's likes, dislikes, preferences or personal history. In addition, people's care plans did not detail medical history or health conditions and what this meant to the individual.

Management was also found to be an issue. Inspectors said: “Whilst the provider had quality and assurance polices and processes these had not been used to identify where the quality of the service was compromised.

"People's care plans did not detail medical history or health conditions and what this meant to the individual. For example, where a person had previously suffered a stroke, there was no information advising of how an individual had been affected or of any long-term side effects. Audits and oversight had not identified this shortfall and this placed people at risk of care that was not safe or as person-centred as it could have been.

"We found no evidence that people had been harmed however, systems were not robust enough to demonstrate management oversight and support continuous improvement of the service.”