A CONCERNING report has laid bare the issues the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found during an inspection of a Bradford-based care agency.

Caremark, which has its office off Sticker Lane, was rated inadequate by the health watchdog and placed in special measures.

The agency provides personal care to people in their own home and at the time of the inspection - June of this year - was providing care for 159 people.

The inspection was partly prompted due to concerns raised about overall care quality, plus a “number of safeguarding incidents” which had occurred.


Inspectors said: “There had been a high number of safeguarding alerts about the service which were being investigated by the local authority safeguarding team.

“Whilst the new managing director demonstrated they were taking action to learn from incidents, some of these incidents had resulted in unacceptable care failings.

“For example, staff had not taken appropriate action through care planning or delivery to act when a person was refusing support and another person had experienced a missed call due to multiple failings resulting in them remaining in their armchair all night.”

They added: “Some staff were not permitted to work with certain clients due to past incidents or allegations.

“However, there was a lack of information recorded as to why this was the case, leading us to conclude that these had not been fully investigated and/or followed up.”

Inspectors also said systems were not in place to protect people from financial abuse and raised concern about the people employed.

“A number of people told us that there were unsuitable staff working for the company, whom they had to ‘ban’ from visiting them or their relatives,” said the report.

“One relative told us ‘they’ll employ anyone’.”

In one instance, one staff member had been recruited and their DBS check had shown convictions, but the report said the risk assessment in place was not “suitably robust” and there was no evidence of discussing the DBS with the person.

In another case, the report said appropriate action had not been taken to follow up on a deterioration in one person’s health, which meant they were admitted to hospital

While most people said care staff were kind, caring and treated them well, a number of people said the quality of staff was inconsistent.

The report said: “One person said they had banned a large number of carers from visiting, as they did not always speak to their relative appropriately, chatted between themselves and talked on their phones.

Most people said they felt safe in the presence of staff, but some people said items had gone missing from their houses.

Records showed one person, who was non-verbal and used non-verbal communication methods, had 21 different care workers in April and 25 in May. The CQC said this meant the agency had failed to recognise the human rights of this person in line with protected characteristics of the Equalities Act legislation.

In looking at how well led the service was, the report said: “We identified seven breaches of regulation during the inspection demonstrating widespread failings and a deterioration since the last inspection. These should have been prevented from occurring through the operation of robust systems of governance and audit.”

However, the report said a new managing director has been brought in to help improve the service, with a number of people saying this was having a positive effect.

“We found them to be open and honest with us about the service,” said the report.

“They demonstrated they had plans in place to improve the service and had written a service improvement plan.”

A Caremark spokesperson said: “We at Caremark Bradford can offer strong reassurance that we take the report on board and have already started working on addressing the parts raised.

“We have already been to visit each and every customer for feedback and ensure they remain safe.

“We are working closely with City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council and Care Quality Commission on a comprehensive action plan.”