Sheffield care service ‘failed’ patients

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A care service in Sheffield which looks after disabled people and the elderly has been told to take action after inspectors raised concerns.

Principle Support Limited, based in Handsworth, failed to respect the dignity of all of its patients and had no proper policy for reporting untoward incidents, the Care Quality Commission said.

An inspection also found there was a lack of evidence that some people had been asked for their consent before being given care.

Principle Support must report back to the commission by August 22 setting out the steps it will take to raise standards.

The firm’s manager Willard Kashangura said the problems arose because several poorly-trained workers were ‘inherited’ from another care service. Most have since been sacked.

The company provides personal care to older people and adults with a range of disabilities in their own homes and at community centres across Sheffield.

Inspectors spoke to carers, relatives and people who used the service, as well as looking at the results of ‘satisfaction surveys’.

In a report, they wrote: “People’s dignity was not always respected.

“We looked at three people’s daily support records and found reference to multiple accounts of challenging behaviour displayed by one person who used the service.

“Some of the language used in these records was inappropriate.

“References were made to ‘telling off’ the person, and the person ‘behaving a bit silly’ and being ‘naughty’.

“We looked at care planning documentation for this person and saw that a plan was put in place for staff to tell the person to ‘be a man’.”

They added: “The evidence we saw showed some people using the service were not treated with consideration and respect.”

Inspectors said they ‘found no evidence of an incident reporting policy in place’.

But they said most relatives of people using the service gave ‘positive feedback’ and added: “People’s needs were assessed, and care and treatment was planned and delivered in line with their individual care plan.”

Mr Kashangura said: “Principle Support provides a quality service. Five months before the latest inspection, Principle Support took over a support provision which was operating without CQC registration for about a year.

“This takeover meant we inherited staff who were not trained to provide services. Out of the six we inherited only one is still working with Principle.

Most of them were dismissed for various issues to do with misconduct.

“Since the inspection, an incident reporting policy was put in place the following day and emailed to the inspector.”