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North-east home care service branded ‘weak’ by inspectorate – three months after being told to improve

Hill of Rubislaw, where Capercaillie Care is headquartered. Picture by Kenny Elrick

A home care service based in Aberdeen has been branded “weak” by inspectors – an even worse assessment than their last report four months ago.

Capercaillie Care Ltd, which provides a service to adults in Moray, Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City and Angus, has been the subject of two unannounced visits from the Care Inspectorate this year, on June 3 and September 27.

At the first visit, inspectors gave the service an “adequate” rating, saying: “Most people’s support experiences were positive, but there were some things that could be improved.”

The care provider was given a list of requirements to be met by July 22, including improvements to the complaints procedure and new training for staff, to ensure the support offered would comply with Health and Social Care Standards.

‘Adequate’ to ‘weak’

However, on the later visit the inspectors found that the standard of care had not improved since their last assessment – and had in fact declined to the extent that they downgraded the rating to “weak”.

For each aspect of the service, they wrote: “We found this area to be weak and have stipulated further requirements for improvement.”

The 12-page report, which was published yesterday, said several of the requirements listed after the previous inspection had not been met.

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Referring to a nascent quality assurance system that could not yet track the progress of carers’ training, the report said: “This meant people could not be certain that the staff were trained, competent and skilled to deal with their support needs.”

Another section drawing attention to issues with plans for users’ care said: “There was information in all of the care plans which was many weeks out of date which was disappointing, as it is important to ensure the correct documentation is being used.

“This inaccuracy would have been confusing if people wanted to talk to the manager.

“In one instance the necessary plan had not been drawn up timeously, and given to a service user, to enable the support worker to have the necessary information to care for all their needs.”

‘Currently working through action plan’

The report did highlight a pair of instances in which requirements from the initial inspection had been met, including the development of a complaints spreadsheet and the implementation of a care plan template.

The Care Inspectorate again listed a series of requirements which would need to be met by Capercaillie Care before October 29.

These included recruiting competent workers into leadership positions, and reviewing all areas of record keeping for accuracy.

John Hughes, the manager of Capercaillie Care, said: “We have had constructive support from the Care Inspectorate and Local Health and Social Care Partnerships and are currently working through our action plan to rectify the concerns raised.

“This has included a change to our management structure which has included, a change in the Registered Manager, Local Area Managers and Operational staff.”

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