Home care clients ‘open to abuse’ says damning report

Oxford Mail: Allied Healthcare’s offices, above the British Red Cross Shop, which is a separate organisation, in Kidlington High Street Allied Healthcare’s offices, above the British Red Cross Shop, which is a separate organisation, in Kidlington High Street

THE county branch of the UK’s biggest home care provider said it has improved following a damning report highlighting that users were open to abuse.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) criticised the Kidlington-based branch of Allied Healthcare for its care of people like OAPs.

The report, which has just been made public, revealed a lack of knowledge by staff of procedures for reporting concerns and preventing clients being open to financial abuse.

The CQC, which inspected Allied in August and again in January, found those who use the service “were not protected from abuse or the risk of abuse”.

But the service has since been re-inspected and, despite the results not being publically available, the firm said it was confident improvements had been made.

Allied medical director Richard Preece said he was confident the first inspection report reflected a historical view of the branch.

The new report recognised “significant progress” he said, adding: “Our improvement has continued. We are now so confident of the progress made since January that we were delighted to be included in CQCs National Pilot Inspection regime, the results of which are yet to be published.”

Allied Healthcare would not say how many county people it cares for but Oxfordshire County Council said it has 25 clients through Allied, costing £770,000 in 2013/14.

The agency cares for all ages including people with learning and physical disabilities, and mental health problems.

In CQC’s August visit, five out of nine staff did not know where to go if they couldn’t report concerns to a manager.

One said: “I don’t know, maybe I could call the police?”

And it found a nurse and care worker were not aware a £10 limit had been put on how much a “vulnerable” client, who had £300 in a drawer, could keep at home.

One relative said management had until recently been a “shambles”.

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