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CQC inspectors tell Agincare care provider to improve performance

The Totton office of Agincare which also operates on the Waterside
The Totton office of Agincare which also operates on the Waterside

A CARE service that operates across the Waterside has been rated below standard by the national watchdog for the second time in 18 months.

Agincare Southampton was again told it ‘requires improvement’ after Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors visited.

Areas flagged up included the branch’s recruitment practices, with inspectors noting gaps in checks on new staff before they started work.

Risk assessments also needed to be more “robust” to include detailed guidance as to how identified risks were managed at the service – which provides personal care, respite and domestic services to 61 people in their own homes, some with dementia or complex health needs – the CQC added.

Systems in place to monitor the quality and safety of the service, which mainly operates in Hythe and Totton, were “not always effective”, the report added.

Inspectors spoke with staff and also went to the homes of three people who use the service to canvass their views.

Among other criticisms levelled by the CQC was that the care records “lacked information” relating to service user’s needs.

Some staff were “not confident” about how they would respond to an incident of choking, the report continued, adding: “Further improvements were needed to ensure that staff were following relevant policies and best practice guidance on medicines management.”

Inspectors had asked the registered manager to review the skills and knowledge of staff and found two breaches of regulations – one was new and the other was a repeated one.

On a positive note, the CQC said staffing levels were sufficient to meet people's needs and users were satisfied with the reliability of the service, based at Rumbridge Street, Totton (pictured).

Staff had received safeguarding training and had a good understanding of the signs of abuse and neglect, it added, while people were supported with their health and nutritional needs, treated with kindness and felt their privacy and dignity was respected. Complaints were managed appropriately.

Incidents and accidents were appropriately recorded and used as an opportunity for learning and people and staff spoke highly of the registered manager, who they said was “approachable and supportive”.

The A&T contacted Agincare Southampton requesting a response to the CQC report but did not receive one prior to going to press.

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