Inadequate Banbury home care service closes after being put into special measures

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A Banbury care service, put into special measures after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found a raft of problems, has been closed down.

The CQC confirmed that Care Hearted Oxfordshire Office - a domiciliary care agency providing personal care to people living in their own homes – had closed. Oxfordshire County Council also confirmed it had terminated its contract with the service soon after the CQC’s inspection in July.

"Care Hearted Oxfordshire supported 36 people. We terminated our contract with them earlier in the summer. We notified all affected residents in July 2023 and arranged for new providers to support them through our approved framework,” a county council spokesman said.

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The CQC inspection had its first inspection on July 6, less than a year after Care Hearted Oxfordshire Office was registered.

The CQC ratings for Care Hearted Oxfordshire Office - a home care service that has been closed downThe CQC ratings for Care Hearted Oxfordshire Office - a home care service that has been closed down
The CQC ratings for Care Hearted Oxfordshire Office - a home care service that has been closed down

The subsequent report said the service offered placed people at risk of harm, systems for risk assessment were not effective, people were not consistently protected against known risks, information was not kept up to date and care plans were not always reflective of people’s needs.

It also said medicines were not always safely managed and information was incorrect; staff did not always have the training required and 'as required' medicines did not have protocols in place. Audits were ineffective in identifying concerns and putting mitigating strategies in place to protect people for harm.

The inspectors’ report said: “People told us staff did not always turn up on time or stay the allocated amount of time. Staff had not always completed the tasks required to meet people's needs. People did not always know which staff were coming to support them.

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“People were not always supported with dignity and respect. People were not always able to effectively communicate with staff. Information recorded about people was not always documented in professional or respectful language.

“People did not always receive person centred care. People and relatives were not always involved in reviewing of care needs and not all people had seen a copy of their care plan.

“People, relatives and staff had made some complaints. However, these were not always dealt with satisfactorily. Not all people and relatives felt able to complain.

“Oversight... was inadequate and failed to ensure safe care and treatment was provided. Audits had not identified the concerns we found. Lessons had not been learnt and improvements had not been implemented,” they found.

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“The provider and registered manager had not always understood their legal obligations. Notifications required by law had not been submitted to keep people safe.”

“We have identified breaches in relation to risks, medicines, staff recruitment, staff training, dignity and respect, consent and management oversight at this inspection,” they said.

Inspectors gave the care service an ‘Inadequate’ rating for ‘safe’, ‘effective’ and ‘well led’ aspects of the service and ‘Requires Improvement’ to the ‘caring’ and ‘responsive’ elements.

The company, based at 6, South Bar Street, Banbury was given an overall rating of inadequate. The Care Quality Commission ‘archived’ the service on November 2, and confirmed the company was no longer operating.