Direct Health (Stockton), which cares for hundreds of people in their own homes, has been slated by Care Quality Commission.
Direct Health (Stockton-on-Tees), which provides care to about 700 people in Stockton, Billingham, Eaglescliffe and Yarm, has been put into special measures after inspectors raised concerns about safe care, with some patients being given the wrong doses of medicine.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said the company, which employs about 200 staff, failed to mitigate risk, failed to train staff properly and did not manage medicines safely. It also did not have enough staff, and there was “insufficient capacity to consistently deliver people’s care”.
Many staff had left employment and there was pressure on care workers to take on extra hours.
Almost a third of staff had not received important refresher training on moving and handling, safeguarding and medication training.
Debbie Westhead, Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care in the North, said:
“People are entitled to services which provide safe, effective, compassionate and high quality care.
“We found that the care provided at Direct Health (Stockton-on-Tees) fell long short of what we expect services to provide.”
She said if the service did not improve within six months then the company could be stopped from operating the service.
A spokeswoman for Direct Health said: “Following the publishing of CQC’s latest inspection report we would like to reassure our Direct Heath (Stockton) customers that we remain committed to providing the highest levels of health and social care.
“Since the CQC inspection took place, we have been working closely to a very specific action plan with both the Care Quality Commission and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council. We look forward to the re-inspection to demonstrate the significant improvements made.”