Leeds home care provider put into special measures after inspectors find ‘widespread shortfalls’

A Morley-based home healthcare provider has been put into special measures by Government inspectors, who rated the service ‘inadequate’.

Routes Healthcare Leeds is a domiciliary care agency – which provides personal care to people living in their own houses and flats.

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But a report published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), said it had identified “breaches in relation to safeguarding, safe care and treatment, staffing and good governance” during an inspection earlier this year.

The care provider sits on Turnberry Park Road, Gildersome.

It led to the care provider being rated “inadequate” in a report published this month, with CQC chiefs warning the company’s registration could be at risk if improvements are not made.

The report stated: “We were not assured care provided was always safe. Risks to people's care were not fully assessed, planned, or documented.

“We identified widespread shortfalls in the way the service was managed. The provider failed to implement effective processes to assess and monitor the quality of the service and to identify the issues found during our inspection.

“There were also issues with the management of staffing which included not providing staff with the appropriate support and failing to ensure training was up to date. Care plans lacked detail in relation to specific areas of people's care and needs. We found gaps in peoples documentation.”

The report added that inspectors made “several safeguarding referrals” to Leeds City Council, as they felt people’s care was not being managed safely.

There were also no actions to “reduce incidents reoccurring”, with the report adding one person had three medication errors in one month.

Inspectors said: “Staff and relatives told us they did not think the service had the correct staffing levels. One staff member said, ‘we don't have enough time’.”

It stated, however, that some service users and relatives shared positive feedback and praised care staff for their kind approach. One person said: "Yes they turn up, they've never missed a call and they're not as late as the others and they will ring me".

However, another said: “When I complained last time they just said they couldn't do anything about it as they didn't have the staff and couldn't send anyone. This was the same thing they said all the time so that's why we complained as they couldn't or wouldn't resolve it."

The report concluded: “Leadership was inconsistent and there was a lack of managerial oversight.

“Staff were not clear about their roles and responsibilities were not always clearly defined. For example, one staff member told us ‘it can be confusing at times as I don't know the complex clients’.

“There were quality improvement meetings within the service however we did not see evidence of actions taken for improving quality.”

Inspectors said they would keep the service under review and would re-inspect within six months to check for significant improvements.

They added: “If the provider has not made enough improvement within this timeframe. And there is still a rating of inadequate for any key question or overall rating, we will take action in line with our enforcement procedures. This will mean we will begin the process of preventing the provider from operating this service.

"This will usually lead to cancellation of their registration or to varying the conditions the registration.”

Routes Healthcare Leeds has been approached for a comment.