MISMANGEMENT and concerns over the handling of medicine has lead a local care agency being rated 'Requires Improvement' by health watchdogs.

The CQC inspection report for Home Angels Healthcare Services Limited, namely the branch stationed on Molly Millars Close, Wokingham, was published on December 15, 2020, and detailed how the agency required improvement in terms of safety, responsiveness, and leadership.

ALSO READ: Bin collections suspended for two days after Covid-19 outbreak

In the report, which was written following the inspection on November 6, 2020, it states concerns such as "Medicines were not always handled and recorded correctly and safely.", and that "Complaints were not managed effectively and not according to the provider's policy."

Concerns were also raised after it was revealed the agency could not give evidence to show their safeguarding systems were operated effectively, in terms of following provider policy and procedure on abuse and neglect allegations.

The Report also detailed: "The provider did not ensure risks to people's personal safety had been assessed and that care plans were in place to minimise those risks."

According to the care provider's CEO, amongst other things, the rating is due to the branch not having the right management available.

ALSO READ: Misconduct meeting cut short after 'rule break' claims

Quays Irby, CEO of Home Angels Healthcare Properties, said: "Unfortunately its been very difficult since the [start of the] pandemic to get a registered manager that can run services like us.

"A couple of factors make it difficult - one factor is you have to have someone who is very experienced, and number two is you have to be able to pay them the kind of salary that they ask for, which is average £36-45,000 a year."

The CEO explained how the agency had only recently taken on the business in July 2020 and said the firm was close to liquidation before taking over.

As such the team have been working on its sites in both Newbury and Swindon.

He said: "The Newbury branch was inspected before Wokingham and we managed to get a 'Good' rating overall, because as soon was we bought the three branches we focussed on the areas that needed the most attention [starting with] Newbury, as it has the most clients and most staff, and when the issues were fixed there we moved to Swindon, and as soon as our attention moved to Wokingham we got the inspection.

"To put things simply, We did not have enough time to fix [all three sites]. We have been fixing one branch at a time.

ALSO READ: The sites in Bracknell that are giving out the Coronavirus vaccines

The CEO said improvements have been made since the report and in December inspector returned to find improvements in staff recruitment and training.  

They said: "If you have a look in the report you can see they hint that there have been a lot of improvements, but it still hasn't been enough because we don't have a branch manager in place because of financial difficulties, and if they took all other improvements into accounts they are not going to rate it cos they are not here to rate it they are here to follow up on previous breaches and to see if any more breaches have been made.

"However, we have invited them again and made all of the improvements and when they come for the comprehensive inspection they are going to rate it. Hopefully we expect it to be 'Good'."

To read the full report, visit www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-1619379722.