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Home care firm is told to improve again

Watchdog probe carried out before carer’s death notes progress but says more needs to be done

03 August, 2018 — By Samantha Booth

A CARE company has been told to improve standards by the social care watchdog.

London Care Holloway has received its second “requires improve­­ment” rating in just over a year from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The latest probe was conducted before its employee, Molly Frank, a 61-year-old carer, died from head injuries while caring for a patient at Holloway’s Ringcross estate in May.

The cause of death was intra-cerebral haemorrhage. London Care said it was “devastated” by her death.

A 95-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder.

The pensioner was released on bail and was transferred to a location where his “complex health and care needs can be managed”, the Met Police said.

The circumstances around the death are not yet known.

Islington Council commissions the agency, based in Seven Sisters Road, to provide home care services.

In April last year, London Care Holloway was placed on an improvement plan by the council. Just under a year later, it came out of the plan, following significant im­provements.

In relation to the latest inspection, conducted at the end of April and published in July, the CQC said it found two incidents it believes should have been reported to it by law.

The watchdog would not go into further detail about what they were.

“We noted that the agency had not informed the CQC about two incidents, which they should have as this is required by law,” the report states. “We are looking into this matter further.”

During the January 2017 inspection, complaints received by the agency were not always managed and responded to in a timely manner, the CQC said.

However, although improvements had been made, the CQC said 10 people had said the agency had not dealt with their complaints well. One person commented: “What’s the point in complaining if they don’t listen to you?”

Five said their complaints were dealt with by the agency.

Inspectors recommended that the agency seeks further support and training on complaint handling.

Further improvements were needed to ensure staff had access to up-to-date information on people’s medicines, the CQC said.

It also said the agency had not assessed risks associated with diagnosis of diabetes.

The report said that staff were not provided with sufficient information on how to support those with diabetes safely.

However, the CQC did give the agency “good” ratings for caring and effectiveness.

“People were supported by kind and caring staff who respected them,” the report says.

It adds: “Staff thought the agency was well led and they felt supported by the management team.”

A spokesman for London Care Holloway said: “While we were disappointed to receive an overall ‘requires improve­ment’ rating we were pleased that the CQC report noted many improvements in our service offering since last assessed.

“We will continue to work hard to provide an excellent level of care, and we have put in place the required actions to address the specific issues the CQC raised.

“Since the last report we have invested in training and technology to enhance the service we offer. We are encouraged that the CQC identified this, commenting that ‘people were supported by kind and caring staff who respected them’.”

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