‘A rubbish company’: CQC expose ‘strong evidence’ of bullying by Manchester carers

A Manchester care provider has been slammed as ‘poorly organised and no good’ amidst allegations of bullying. 

Allied Healthcare provides care to people in their own homes, but was found to be inadequate in terms of its leadership and safety, whilst accusations of bullying were found to have ‘credibility’ according to a Care Quality Commission report.

The report found the establishment guilty of breaching the regulations relating to reporting safeguarding incidents, the proper recording of medicines, and protection from abuse and improper treatment.

“An allegation was that these carers had neglected and bullied the people they were supporting,” the report said.

“We looked at the personnel files of the two carers which lent credibility to the allegations in that they had been found to have committed similar acts in the past.

“We found more definitive evidence of poor care in a series of allegations which were made while the inspection was in progress.

“These included the person using the service being left in bed all day on one date, verbal abuse and poor manual handling, and medicines being given incorrectly or not at all.

“There was strong evidence that these acts had been committed.

“The poor care, substantiated in this case, meant that the person using the service had not been protected from abuse.”

Although staff were dismissed after this case of poor treatment, the report found that the provider was poorly led in general – although people praised carers as ‘angels’, the management and temporary carers came under severe criticism.

One user of the service described the company as ‘poorly organised and no good’, whilst another told the CQC inspector that staff ignored complaints.

“The carers are ace, the company is rubbish,” he said.

“Things have got worse since last year and the good staff are always leaving but it is a waste of time talking to the office.”

At a previous inspection in January 2014 it was found the service was not meeting three regulations concerning care and welfare, quality monitoring and record keeping.

However after a follow up visit in April 2014 it was found that these three regulations were now being met.

During this inspection, 18 people were asked over the telephone and eight people and/or their relatives face-to-face in their homes, whether they felt safe when the carers were visiting.

Most said they felt safe in the presence of their regular carers with one person describing the staff as ‘lovely’.

However the report also showed one relative said: “I dread [the regular carer] going on holiday because everything goes wrong then.”

Another, in relation to the number of different carers they had seen, said: “I totally truly hate it – inconsistency and timing.” 

The report also said Allied Healthcare’s electronic call monitoring system was not being monitored outside of office hours.

This meant that if a carer failed to turn up for an evening visit the out of hours team would not know about it from this system.

“Vulnerable people were at risk of not being supported with their personal support needs for example being helped in or out of bed and with meals, and no-one knowing about it,” the report said.

People were also left dissatisfied with the management, after there had been a succession of short-term managers since the registered manager left in May 2015.

The report stated: “After the departure of the registered manager a replacement had been appointed but had worked for only ten weeks.

“We were told that this person had not worked in the care industry previously.

“Allied Healthcare had conducted an investigation into allegations of abuse against one person and had identified failings in the management of the branch.

“They had devised an action plan and appointed a new manager.

“Despite this, we considered the recent failings in management had had a significant impact on people who used the service and were a breach of the regulation relating to good governance.”

MM attempted to contact Allied Healthcare Greater Manchester for comment, but declined to do so by the time of publication. 

Image courtesy of Chalmers Butterfield, with thanks.

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