A FAMILY-run care company has been criticised for a lack of auditing and a shortfall in staff in its first watchdog inspection.

Flamelily Independent Living, which started providing care in June 2018, was visited by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on November 13, last year, and was told that changes needed to be made.

Inspectors rated the service as ‘requires improvement’ overall, with concern for safety and how well-led the business is.

But it was praised for its effectiveness, caring nature and responsiveness, with a ‘good’ rating for the inspection categories.

The CQC said that some care plans lacked detail, which meant that some staff did not perform tasks as people preferred.

But the report did say: “Though care plans did not hold sufficient information about people, staff had forged positive working relationships with people and had learned a great deal about them enabling them to deliver more care in a person-centred way.”

It was recommended that the manager record all information about its clients if staff were unable to work.

Registered manager Wilfred Takaindisa said: “At the time of the inspection we had some new clients whose care plans were still being developed. They lacked detailed information.”

Despite the service expanding it did not have sufficient staff to take on more customers, inspectors said, with the manager and care coordinator having to step in to cover care calls when employees were unwell.

However, inspectors found that the provider had recently recruited more staff which allowed it to increase the number of care hours delivered.

The watchdog also said that Mr Takaindisa did not have full oversight of the services as there was no clear auditing systems, it was felt.

The report said: “Errors and omissions in records had not been followed up and pre-employment checks were not always completed correctly.”

But Mr Takaindisa said that there was an auditing system in place but it was “not comprehensive enough”, and a consultant was brought in to rectify and improve the procedure.

It was deemed that further work was needed on risk assessments in people’s homes to manage possible hazards.

The service was however praised for staff’s knowledge and dedication, with inspectors saying that they provided “consistent, effective, timely care”, with clients happy with their care.

Inspectors said that clients were happy with their care and staff treated them with “compassion, kindness, dignity and respect”.

Effective training was also in place and procedures had gotten underway to deal with concerns raised from an external audit last year.

Responding to the findings of the CQC report, Mr Takaindisa added: “The rating was a fair reflection of the service. The inspection process was very thorough and comprehensive and we are grateful for that because now we now have an opportunity to improve our service even further.

“There are a lot of positives to be drawn from the report and equally important some areas of improvement. As a team our focus for the future is to improve the overall quality of our care to individuals we support.”