Wakefield homecare provider rated inadequate by Care Quality Commission despite 'overwhelmingly positive' comments from patients

A homecare provider has been rated inadequate again, despite patients and staff speaking "overwhelmingly" highly of the service

Friday, 9th April 2021, 5:25 pm
Updated Friday, 9th April 2021, 5:26 pm

Academy Care, in Wakefield, remains in special measures, having been previously graded as inadequate by the health watchdog last year.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said the provider needed to improve, despite acknowledging in its report that elderly people were given a punctual and popular service and that its Covid measures were rigorous and effective.

Inspectors, who visited the service on two separate occasions at the back end of 2020, said however that Academy Care's hiring procedures were "not safe".

The company offers care to elderly people living in their own homes.

Their report said that two staff members had started working for the service without a DBS criminal background check and that the government's relaxation around recruitment checks on care workers had been "misunderstood".

In their report published this week, the CQC said: "People and relatives we spoke with were overwhelmingly positive about the care they received and added they were safe.

"Staff told us they were well supported by the provider who they described as caring, responsive and approachable.

"Staff described working in a positive culture and commented that care staff worked hard to ensure people always received a service."

Inspectors said that the 21 elderly people who used Academy Care at the time of their visit "received a service where staff largely arrived on time and there were no missed calls."

But despite being rated 'inadequate' on just one of the criteria used to judge care providers, the CQC said the service had to remain in special measures.

The report added: "We found no evidence that people had been harmed however, systems to assess, monitor and improve the service were not sufficiently robust and management oversight was not evident over key aspects of the service."

Inspectors also said that medication records for patients "were not sufficiently robust", even though staff had received training and been assessed as competent in administering drugs.

However, the report praised the service's Covid controls, saying that the provider was "preventing visitors from catching and spreading infections", by taking temperature checks, complying with test-and-trace and using PPE effectively.

Academy Care has been contacted for comment.

Local Democracy Reporting Service