Homecare firm facing allegations of 'financial abuse' against elderly patients shuts down

ASK Home Care had been told it could be facing a criminal investigation.
ASK Home Care had been told it could be facing a criminal investigation.

A homecare service for elderly people has closed down following allegations cash had been stolen from two of its patients.

ASK Home Care Ltd, which was based in Knottingley and delivered physical help to patients in their own homes, was being probed for two separate claims of financial abuse, which had been made last year.

A damning Care Quality Commission (CQC) report said the service was in breach of nine healthcare regulations and that its two managers were "dishonest" with inspectors when they visited in November.

The health regulator said that the managers had failed to report the two allegations.

It also said that people who used the service were not safe and that staff lacked support and supervision to do their jobs.

The report said: "One allegation of theft of money was made in February 2018. One of the registered managers told us they had investigated this at the time but did not make a referral to safeguarding and did not notify the CQC.

"Another allegation of financial abuse was made in September 2018.

"A member of staff said they were aware the allegations had been made but did not report the concerns because they believed the money was going to be returned.

"Investigations into the allegations of financial abuse were ongoing at the time of the inspection."

Inspectors said that ASK Home Care could face a criminal probe as well as the CQC's own enquiries.

At the time of their visit, two patients were using the service, while another had stopped using it the week before.

Managers were also criticised for keeping "disorganised" records and had mixed up personal correspondence with patients' personal care plans.

The report added: "The service did not show honesty and transparency from all levels of staff and management.

"Both registered managers did not act with integrity and blamed each other for things going wrong. They were dishonest when responding to questions about the service."

The regulator placed the service in special measures, but it has since closed itself down.