Care home firm warned to raise standards

Allied Healthcare has been given until July 24 to make the recommended improvements to its service. Picture: Esme Allen
Allied Healthcare has been given until July 24 to make the recommended improvements to its service. Picture: Esme Allen
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A COMPANY which is contracted to the city council to provide care at home for almost 100 people has been warned it faces having its registration withdrawn unless it makes urgent improvements in its operations.

Allied Healthcare Edinburgh has been served with a formal Improvement Notice by the Care Inspectorate after a routine inspection raised serious concerns about the health and wellbeing of its mainly elderly clients. The company is one of a dozen used by the council to provide care to people in their own homes.

The inspectorate said it had been carrying out a “routine inspection” when the concerns over risks to the health of their clients became apparent – and as a result decided to issue the Improvement Notice without waiting for the inspection and report to be completed.

The company, based at Bonnington Mill business centre, Newhaven Road, now has until July 24 to ensure that all staff working with service users have been trained in administering medication and that medication is administered as prescribed and accurately recorded.

It also has until the same date to demonstrate that scheduled visit times and actual visit times correspond with those agreed with service users.

In the previous Care Inspectorate report, in November last year, Allied Healthcare (Edinburgh) was rated “weak” on both care and support and management and leadership.

The report noted a lack of consistency in the staff visiting clients, with “unfamiliar” staff regularly sent to give them their care. It said a lack of consistency in the timing of visits could cause inconvenience and anxiety for service-users, the duration of visits sometimes varied significantly from those identified in assessments of need and sometimes visits were missed altogether.

Medication recording and infection control practice also needed attention.

A spokesman for the Care Inspectorate said: “Our most recent inspection of this service, completed in May, raised some serious concerns.

“Unless we see evidence of significant improvement on the areas we have highlighted we will not hesitate to take further action.”

The council said it would not be giving the company any more work until the situation improved. A spokeswoman said: “It is of the utmost importance to the council that people are given the quality of care they require.

“A council contract officer is working closely with Allied Healthcare to ensure that they are making positive changes.”

Richard Preece medical director for Allied Healthcare said: “We agree that this branch needs to improve and that some of the procedures did not meet our usual high standards.

“We have already put a specialist team in place in the branch and significant changes are being made. We will continue to work closely with the inspectorate – who have been kept fully informed of the action being taken – as well as with those we provide care to and their families to ensure the improvements are made.”