UPDATE: Boss defends North Walsham home-care agency over watchdog’s ‘major concerns’

A government watchdog has issued a formal warning to a North Walsham-based home-visiting care agency saying it must improve standards or face further action.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has major concerns about the management of medicines by Dimak Healthcare Limited, based at 3-3A Market Street, which they believe puts the company's clients at risk.

But the agency's chief has refuted the CQC's findings and claims it is unjust to describe the concerns as 'major'.

CQC inspectors carried out an unannounced inspection at the care agency on October 18 to follow up concerns highlighted at an inspection in May.

Dimak provides services with an emphasis on caring for people with complex health and personal care needs living in their own home.'

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Inspectors found evidence that improvements had not been made since the previous inspection. There were gaps in records relating to which medicines people had been given and it was therefore not possible for inspectors to tell whether people had received their medication as prescribed.

But Kennedy Zulu, Dimack managing director, said the incident referred to related to one client's eye drops and the inspector had only checked one of his records, known as the MAR - Medications Administration Record - chart.

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Mr Zulu said although the MAR chart did contain gaps, the patient's daily record had been filled in and showed clearly that the drops had been administered.

Of three patients inspected, there had been no problems with another and he claimed the inspector's criticisms of the third patient's medication regime were also over minor matters.

Mr Kennedy added that although there was evidence that the drugs had been given to both clients correctly, in neither case would their non-administration have had serious consequences for the individuals concerned.

'I don't understand. I don't want to bite the finger that feeds me but what they are doing is destroying the good work the carers are doing,' said Mr Zulu.

A Norfolk County Council inspection had concluded that Dimack's clients were happy with their service, he added.

Frances Carey, regional director of CQC in the East of England, said: 'The law says these are the standards that everyone should be able to expect. Providers have a duty to ensure they are compliant.

'This warning sends a clear and public message that Dimak Healthcare Limited needs to address this issue or face further consequences.

'Our inspectors will return in the near future and if we find that the required progress is not made we won't hesitate to use our legal powers to protect the people who use this service.'

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