Director of care provider quits after scathing CQC assessment
- Credit: Thomas Chapman/Bob Hobbs
The director of a care provider is stepping down after inspectors found an allegation of staff harming a patient had not been properly investigated.
Jon Herbert, of Mulbarton-based Allicare, will leave his post after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated the service ‘inadequate’ for the second consecutive time.
But Mr Herbert maintains that improvements have been made and said feedback from clients was “excellent”.
Allicare - which had been rated as ‘good’ in 2016 - provides personal care to people living in their own homes, some of whom require 24-hour support.
Inspectors from the CQC carried out a routine check in July 2019 and discovered monitoring systems were not in place to “ensure people received safe care”.
An overall rating of inadequate was given and, after a follow-up inspection in February this year, it was found a host of lessons had not been learned.
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In their latest report, published this month, inspectors said they had found records documenting a “direct allegation from a person using the service of staff harming them”.
But they added that the allegation had been “dismissed immediately by staff without any due process”.
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When asked about the incident, Mr Herbert said a client alleged an employee had inflicted a “very minor” accidental injury on them, but a second staff member described seeing no physical contact.
Moreover, inspectors highlighted occasions when service users had replica weapons and also where staff were “at risk of sexual assault”, showing safeguarding procedures had not been followed.
The report did note that, generally, service users said staff were “caring and showed them respect”.
As a result of the latest assessment, the director of Allicare has left his role and Andrea Griffin, registered manager, has also stepped down.
Mr Herbert, however, remains steadfast in his defence of the provider’s efforts to improve.
“When we got the first inadequate rating we were devastated,” he said. “We’ve put a lot of work into improving, so when we got another poor rating we could not understand it.
“The thing is our feedback from clients is excellent. We conducted a survey in January and we were given an average score of 4.1 out of 5. What we feel is that the CQC is about quality assurance, and not about quality delivery of care.
“In other words, we are delivering an excellent service, but if you have not dotted your I’s and crossed your T’s, you are going to be criticised.”