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Care 1st Ltd (20 002 953, Report)

Category : Adult care services > Domiciliary care

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 28 Oct 2021

Summary: Adverse Findings Notice issued because Care 1st Ltd failed to provide the remedy recommended by the Ombudsman following an investigation. 

The complaint

We investigated a complaint about the Provider’s homecare services provided to the complainant.

We found Care 1st Limited:

  • Did not deliver part of the care package, including not completing household tasks in a timely way, and often leaving him alone.
  • Failed to promptly identify the complainant had mistakenly taken a double dose of his medication. This falls below the expected standard of care, although there is no evidence it harmed the complainant.
  • Fell short of the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) Fundamental Standards, Regulation 10, requiring service users to be treated with dignity and respect. This related to a conversation between two carers about racial ethnicity which resulted in one providing a written apology to the other.

These faults meant part of the care package the complainant paid for was not delivered. The complainant also suffered distress because of the medication issue and the conversation about race which took place in his presence. As a result, the complainant suffered an injustice and the Ombudsman has made recommendations to put this right.

Recommendations

We recommended Care 1st Limited:

  • Give a written apology for the faults and injustice identified.
  • Deduct £500 from the complainant’s final balance to reflect that care fell below the standard expected.

The Provider’s response

Care 1st Limited does not wish to carry out our recommendations for the following reasons:

  • The Provider first accepted our findings saying it was happy to provide a formal apology and acknowledged its care may not have met the complainant’s needs. But it declined to make a financial payment, feeling it had properly addressed the matters in its internal investigation.
  • On learning our decision would be shared with the CQC, it refused to follow any of our recommendations. Its comments focused solely on the conversation about race. The Provider does not feel it violated the complainant’s right to be treated with dignity and respect, and feels restricting any conversation of race in a service user’s home would infringe its carers’ right to freedom of expression.
  • The Provider has no further comments on the other failings about completing household tasks and the medication incident.

We are not satisfied with the actions of Care 1st Limited, which leaves the injustice not put right for the complainant. We will share this notice with the Care Quality Commission – the regulator for health and social care in England.

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