AN ANDOVER care provider has been told it needs to improve after inspectors found that risks were not consistently assessed and staff were not always following safe systems to administer and record medicines.

Big Hearts Recruitment based at Wessex Suite Union House, 7 Union Street, Andover, was inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on March 13, and a report published on May 16 said it ‘requires improvement’ overall.

It is a domiciliary care service providing personal care to people living in their own homes. At the time of the inspection there were 97 people receiving personal care. Four of these were receiving a live-in care service.

The CQC said it ‘requires improvement’ in four of the five areas inspected: safe, effective, responsive and well-led. It was graded as ‘good’ for caring.

READ MORE: Andover care provider graded as 'requires improvement' by CQC

The service was registered with CQC in August 2021, and this was the first inspection.

Inspectors identified breaches to various regulations and requested an action plan setting out how it will improve standards of quality and safety. It will now work alongside the provider and local authority to monitor progress.

The CQC found that some aspects of the service were not always safe, meaning there was an “increased risk that people could be harmed”.

The report said: “People were not always supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests; the policies and systems in the service did not support this practice. Staff had not consistently completed comprehensive assessments of each person's needs. Staff had not followed effective processes to assess and provide the support people needed to take their medicines safely.

“Care was not consistently person-centred, and staff had not consistently assessed, monitored and managed risks. People did not consistently receive a reliable service that met their needs. Staff recruitment processes did not promote safety. Staff used personal protective equipment effectively and safely.”

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But the report said staff understood how to protect people from abuse.

The inspectors also found that staff had not adequately evaluated the quality of support provided to people.

They reported that staff had received relevant training and underwent an induction which helped to ensure they understood their role and responsibilities.

Staff also spoke of a positive culture within the service.

The report further said: “Risks to people were not adequate assessed and planned for.

“Systems to monitor the quality of the service and to oversee risk to people's health and safety and medicines were not always effective.

“The provider had not ensured safe and robust recruitment processes were in place.”

“We have identified breaches in relation to risk management, safety of medicines, governance and recruitment at this inspection.

“We will request an action plan from the provider to understand what they will do to improve the standards of quality and safety. We will work alongside the provider to monitor progress. We will continue to monitor information we receive about the service, which will help inform when we next inspect.”

Big Hearts Recruitment has been contacted for a comment.