A CARE provider in Runcorn has been told it must improve after inspectors found safety failings which placed people under its care at risk.

I Care (GB) Limited based at The Heath Business Park was found to require improvement when it was visited by inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Inspectors found that the service – which at the time was providing personal care to 80 adults in their own homes – had ‘significant shortfalls’ in how it was managed and how it assessed and mitigated risks.

Safety concerns raised in the recently published inspection report, included:

  • Some people, including those with complex needs, did not have care plans in place.
  • Risks around falls and moving around had not always been assessed. One person’s risk assessment for safe handling had not been reviewed since 2019, despite the fact they had been recently hospitalised due to a fall.
  • Medicines were not always managed safely. Inspectors saw evidence that some staff were leaving people’s medicines out for them to take once they had left for the day. Medicines to be given at specific times were not always given at those times. There was also no system to check if new service users were receiving the correct medication.
  • There were not always sufficient numbers of suitably qualified staff to meet people’s care and support needs.
  • Not all staff had received formal training in infection, prevention and control, including training specific to Covid-19.
  • Leadership was found to be inadequate. The report said: “We were not fully assured the registered manager was committed to continuous learning and improving care.”

A spokesperson for the service, said: “We accept many of the findings in the CQC report and acknowledge that there is room for improvement in our service.

“The inspection took place in March 2021 after an especially difficult period in which many of our regular staff had been off work, either self-isolating or in some cases with Covid-19.

“The situation was difficult, and our staff team ensured that our service users received the best service possible under the circumstances.

“The CQC factual accuracy process was complied with and our comments on the inaccuracies in the report and inspection methodology were submitted. It is regretful that CQC did not address all of these before publishing the report and before reviewing our challenges. We have submitted clear arguments to show that some of the findings in the report were unfair or overstated.

“There were failings, which CQC have correctly identified as a breach of regulations, and it is our responsibility to put them right. We are working hard to resolve the problems and have implemented an action plan specifically in relation to the shortfalls identified in the CQC report.”