A SERVICE that provides personal care for people with learning disabilities has been rated as ‘inadequate’.
Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited Affinity Trust Specialist Support Division North on two dates in March and one date in April.
The chief executive of Affinity Trust has issued an apology and said the trust did not wait on the publication of the CQC report to act on the issues raised.
A report from the visit said: “People were not supported in having choice and control over aspects of their lives.
“Staff were restrictive and did not promote the best interests of the people using the service.
“Risks to people were not always recognised, assessed and managed safely.
“Systems in place did not always protect people from abuse and improper treatment. The provider had not always acted to manage risks.
“People’s needs were not always assessed to consider what they wanted and needed.”
Inspectors raised serious concerns over safeguarding. At one location, there was ongoing safeguarding issues and “the leadership were not able to clearly evidence how these were being managed”.
The service is based at Webb House in Batley and accommodates 15 people across three separate sites.
The report said: “We were not assured all safeguarding concerns were raised.
“Prior to our inspection, the Clinical Commissioning Group told us the provider was prompted to raise safeguarding concerns that otherwise could have gone unreported.
“Not all staff were up to date with safeguarding training.”
Inspectors said risk assessments to identify and protect people’s health needs were “lacking” and this resulted in a situation where someone required hospital admission.
The report described a lack of managerial oversight and there were “significant gaps” in records.
“These included gaps in medication records, people’s communication plans and activity plans,” said the report.
“The Internal audit completed by management found discrepancies with people’s finances.
“We asked the leadership for a response regarding this but were provided with no further information.”
Staff told inspectors that inconsistency in management had impacted on the quality of the service.
“The staff we spoke to told us they did not feel valued and respected,” said the report.
“Some staff told us morale had been low and they had felt the impact of poor staffing.”
Leo Sowerby, Chief Executive of Affinity Trust said “I’m sorry that the quality of service delivered in this location did not meet our usual standards.
“With the problems of Covid and the resulting sector-wide recruitment and retention crisis, we found ourselves developing a specialised service for people with complex needs under extremely difficult circumstances.
“The CQC inspection took place some months ago and we have not waited for the publication of the CQC’s report to act.
“We have already implemented an action plan and made changes to bring about immediate improvements in the areas of concern. We have appointed a new management team to ensure the changes are effective.
“While the level of service at this location is not reflective of Affinity Trust as a whole, we will also use lessons learned from this situation to proactively revisit training across the organisation, to ensure that all the services we deliver remain of consistently high quality.”
Affinity Trust also runs a service in Shipley, which is judged to be ‘good’ by the CQC.