Two fines over care mistakes

Brought to you by the News Guardian.
Brought to you by the News Guardian.

A homecare agency has been fined for failing to notify officials about incidents involving people in care.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) issued fines totalling £1,875 against provider North Tyneside Council and the manager of North Tyneside Council Domiciliary Care Agency.

Following a review of care records and discussions with staff, inspectors found there had been a failure to inform CQC about a number of people receiving services that had died.

In addition, inspectors found evidence of several incidents that had been referred to, or investigated by, the local authority safeguarding team, but had not been reported to CQC.

Debbie Westhead, CQC’s deputy chief inspector for adult social care in the north, said: “Every registered provider and manager has a legal duty to ensure that they meet national regulations and to advise CQC of serious incidents and events to enable us to discharge our regulatory responsibilities on behalf of the people who use the service.

“The failures on this occasion to inform CQC of a number of very serious incidents and issues of concern relating to the provision of care, is unacceptable.

“North Tyneside Council have taken prompt action to address our concerns and both fines have now been paid.”

A spokesperson for North Tyneside Council said: “North Tyneside Council’s Domiciliary Care Service is recognised by the Care Quality Commission as an effective, caring and outstanding service that is successfully supporting the old and vulnerable people of the borough to returning to live independently and in safety in their own homes.

“Unfortunately, during the CQC inspection the registered manager was found to have misinterpreted a reporting process in relation to whether it is the council’s responsibility to provide information on incidents when healthcare professionals are also involved, and this process error has been marked as an area in need of improvement and a fixed penalty notice issued.

“We have accepted this oversight and have both worked with the CQC and provided training to relevant staff to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Information requested had been gathered and has now been provided to the CQC retrospectively.”