In a firm admonishment, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has classified Wolverhampton-based Santos Care as ‘inadequate,’ citing significant safety concerns for residents. Operating from Berry Street, this home care service is now on notice, with the regulatory body signaling potential cessation of operations unless substantial improvements are made within the next six months.
The CQC’s meticulous inspection, covering safety, effectiveness, and management, resulted in Santos Care receiving an overall ‘inadequate’ rating. The regulatory body expressed serious reservations about resident safety, asserting that identified shortcomings placed individuals at risk of avoidable harm.
Conducted in October, the inspection brought to light several deficiencies in care delivery and risk assessment protocols. The CQC highlighted concerns about the inadequacies in care plans and risk assessments, where crucial details were found lacking, compromising the safety and preferences of residents. Generic and non-person-centered risk assessments were also flagged as problematic, often omitting vital information on risk management and mitigation.
The potential for generic health management plans to mislead staff and create ambiguity around their competencies was another key concern. The inconsistency between care plans and the actual care delivered further complicated matters, introducing confusion and the possibility of lapses in essential service provision.
The CQC’s report also underscored worries regarding staff training and competence. People and their relatives expressed a lack of confidence in the capabilities of the staff, particularly in performing tasks crucial to their care. Additionally, clarity was lacking in terms of the responsibility for the management and administration of medication, posing potential risks to those under Santos Care’s purview.
Furthermore, instances of consistently late calls were discovered, raising doubts about the sufficiency of staff to cover care calls consistently. With 15 people under its care during the inspection, Santos Care’s operational deficiencies have placed it under the vigilant scrutiny of the regulatory body.
Santos Care has now been placed in ‘special measures,’ indicating that the CQC will closely monitor the service. If substantial improvements are not observed in the next six months, the CQC may initiate measures to prevent the provider from continuing its operations.
The CQC conveyed, “Should the provider fail to demonstrate adequate improvement within this timeframe and if there is still an ‘inadequate’ rating for any key question or overall rating, we will take action in accordance with our enforcement procedures. This will involve commencing the process of preventing the provider from operating this service, typically resulting in the cancellation of their registration or adjustments to the conditions of registration.”
The ‘inadequate’ rating and subsequent placement in ‘special measures’ serve as a clear warning for Santos Care to promptly rectify the identified issues. Failure to do so may lead to severe consequences, including the revocation of its license to operate, affecting the lives of those dependent on its services.