‘Shambolic’ care agency is slammed
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