‘Sham­bolic’ care agency is slammed

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By SAM YARWOOD sam.yarwood@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @sam­yarwood89

SOME­ONE could die if a fail­ing care agency – which looks af­ter pen­sion­ers and peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties in their own homes – is not over­hauled, a con­cerned fam­ily mem­ber has told a health watch­dog.

Town hall chiefs in Bolton have ter­mi­nated the coun­cil’s con­tract with Alex­ios fol­low­ing the pub­li­ca­tion of a damn­ing Care Qual­ity Com­mis­sion (CQC) re­port, in which the or­gan­i­sa­tion was judged to be ‘in­ad­e­quate’ in ev­ery area.

Staff told CQC in­spec­tors the ser­vice was ‘sham­bolic,’ claim­ing it was poorly man­aged. It has now been put into spe­cial mea­sures.

Alex­ios, known Care­watch Bolton un­til Jan­uary, was com­mis­sioned by the coun­cil to pro­vide home sup­port for 165 peo­ple over 65 years of age.

The coun­cil now sort­ing al­ter­na­tive care.

The agency, based on Chor­ley Old Road, cares for peo­ple with de­men­tia, learn­ing and phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties and men­tal health con­di­tions.

Alex­ios was deemed to be ‘in­ad­e­quate’ in the ‘safe,’ ‘ef­fec­tive,’ ‘car­ing,’ ‘re­spon­sive’ and ‘well-led’ cat­e­gories fol­low­ing an unan­nounced in­spec­tion in July. CQC chiefs told of se­ri­ous con­cerns raised by ser­vice users and their rel­a­tives – as well as staff. One fam­ily mem­ber told in­spec­tors: “The ser­vice is ap­palling. is out as The stan­dard of care pro­vided by some car­ers is aw­ful. They [the agency] are go­ing to kill some­one.”

The re­port also told how peo­ple’s front doors had been left un­locked overnight – and that one ser­vice user was left sit­ting in a chair all night af­ter their carer failed to show up.

Con­cerns were raised about missed vis­its, missed med­i­ca­tion and a lack of staff train­ing. One carer said peo­ple were be­ing put at ‘sig­nif­i­cant risk of harm.’ An­other told in­spec­tors they would not en­trust the agency with the care of one of their rel­a­tives.

A spokesman for Bolton coun­cil said Alex­ios was not one of its four main care providers, but that it had been com­mis­sioned by the au­thor­ity for sev­eral years. He added: “We were con­cerned to learn that Alex­ios had failed to demon­strate any ev­i­dence of im­prove­ment since their last in­spec­tion and its ser­vices had been rated ‘in­ad­e­quate.’

“The safety of our ser­vice users is of ut­most im­por­tance to us so we have served no­tice on the com­pany and are ter­mi­nat­ing our con­tract with them. “We have al­ready writ­ten to all of our ser­vice users to in­form them of our de­ci­sion and are ar­rang­ing for al­ter­na­tive home care providers to take over the pack­ages of care cur­rently pro­vided by Alex­ios.”

A spokes­woman for Alex­ios said: “This mat­ter is sub­ject to an on­go­ing for­mal com­plaint by Alex­ios to the CQC. It would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate to com­ment un­til that process is re­solved.” Bolton coun­cil spokesman

The Care­watch of­fice in Bolton

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