Hitchin-based Ace Community Care must improve, say inspectors

PUBLISHED: 08:27 22 January 2018

CQC inspectors say Ace Community Care, based in Hitchin, must improve.

CQC inspectors say Ace Community Care, based in Hitchin, must improve.

Archant

A Hitchin-based care provider that gives home support to people affected by dementia or disabilities must improve, inspectors have warned.

Ace Community Care – based at the Eastway Enterprise Centre off Paynes Park – did not always properly train staff, Care Quality Commission inspectors found.

The report, based on visits on October 4 and November 6 last year, noted that failings were partly due to manager Jacqueline Roseblade spending some time giving care herself, leaving less time for her leadership role.

The service received ‘requires improvement’ ratings for safety, effectiveness, responsiveness and leadership, with a ‘good’ rating for being caring.

The inspection was carried out after four members of staff raised concerns about missed visits and poor care provided to some service users. These concerns related to provision in West Herts, where Ace Community Care took over agreements and staff from another provider in January last year, while continuing its existing services in North Hertfordshire and Central Bedfordshire.

The inspectors found a lack of staff to ensure timely care – particularly in West Herts, where some carers felt Mrs Roseblade did not give them enough support.

Training was a main area for criticism, with two staff members concerned about a lack of moving and handling training before supporting people who required the use of hoists and slings.

“They said that this put people at risk of unsafe care and could also result in injuries to staff,” the inspectors wrote.

Moving and handling training was found to be provided in people’s homes, with one member of staff telling the inspectors that this wasn’t good enough.

The report concludes that “training records were not well organised and therefore we could not be certain that all staff had been appropriately trained”.

Ace was found to be sluggish in its response to concerns and complaints. The report also found Mrs Roseblade had not responded correctly to reportable incidents and needed support to understand her role and responsibilities.

The inspectors did conclude that the service was caring, with kind and friendly staff who treated people with dignity and helped them to stay as independent as possible.

At the time of the inspection, Ace Community Care supported 68 people in Hertfordshire and Central Bedfordshire.

Ace Community Care has yet to respond to a request for comment.

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