A care provider that left one client to be looked after by a non-existent 'husband' and another missing their medication for three weeks has been rated inadequate.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said the safety of the service provided by PLL Care Services, its effectiveness, responsiveness and leadership were all inadequate. 

The national health watchdog graded how caring it was as requiring improvement.

At the time of the inspection in August and September PLL Care, based in North Leigh Business Park near Witney, was providing services to 169 people.

The CQC report, published on October 17, found one person was neglected on two occasions.

On a first visit they received “no fluid or medication”.

On another visit, a staff member noted: “Found [person] well, gave [person] a wash and left [person] in bed with the husband.”

They gave no medicines, breakfast or personal care as they said it would be handled by 'the husband'.

But this person did not have a husband.

The CQC said: “This inaccurate information had not been identified by the service, which put people at risk of neglect.”

Another client had a diagnosis of epilepsy, which was noted in their care plan, but there was no risk assessment about the types of seizures they had.

Inspectors said "staff we spoke with were not sure what action they would take if this person had a seizure". 

Another person's care notes said they were at risk of harm to and from their partner and staff supporting them.

"There was no information for staff about this risk and what action they should take to reduce the risks of harm," the CQC said.

Before the inspection, the county council told the CQC “of a number of safeguarding concerns raised by the council or supporting professionals that the service had been made aware of”.

"Not all these concerns had been recorded and investigated by the provider in line with their responsibilities."

Systems were not in place to ensure people's medicines were available or they were taking them as prescribed.

One medication risk assessment stated the person's family members collected their medicines from the pharmacy.

The CQC said: "However, this person did not have any family involved in their care. The pharmacy attempted to deliver their medicines.

"However, as this person was unable to access the front door due to their mobility, they missed these medicines for three weeks."

Inspectors found there was "limited evidence" to show employees "have the qualifications, competence, skills and experience" necessary for the job.

Not all staff had references and "staff members start dates were documented as being before the service received their application and, in some cases, start dates were before the interview date".

Inspectors said they heard concerns from people using the service about staffing and their hours.

A person using the service told them: "Staff get picked up at 6.40 am and dropped back home 10pm. Their break is spent in car as all don't drive."

Staff confirmed they only get paid for the visit times to people's homes and not for travel between the visits.

"This meant that staff often worked long hours but only received four hours pay," said the CQC.

The report said: "Despite comments regarding the kindness of individual staff members, the widespread shortfalls and lack of personalised care identified throughout this report meant the approach of the service could not be considered as caring."

The company has been placed in special measures.

PLL Care has been contacted.