A BASINGSTOKE home-care provider has been told to improve by the CQC after concerns were raised with the watchdog by relatives and staff.

The Care Quality Commission visited Angelus Homecare, run by Hampshire Healthcare Services Limited, in April, and a report published in June graded it as ‘requires improvement’ overall.

The service, based in Winchester Street, was registered with the CQC in December 2019, and this was its first inspection.

It was graded as ‘good’ for safety, caring and responsiveness and ‘requires improvement’ for effectiveness and well-led.

Angelus Homecare is an agency providing personal care to people who live in their own home. At the time of the inspection, it was providing care to 13 people, including older people and those with medical conditions affecting their mobility.

The CQC carried out the inspection after receiving concerns from a relative and three staff about staff training and management.

Inspectors found that arrangements for staff training were not “comprehensive” and “did not follow best practice”.

Staff told inspectors that they received “limited and inconsistent” training, induction and support, meaning they did not always feel confident in meeting people’s needs.

A new manager had been appointed, but was not yet registered with the CQC as manager of the service. However, there was positive feedback about the new manager’s “open and engaging approach from people, relatives and staff”.

Inspectors were told that staff were “kind, friendly and caring”, but that some “lacked experience and confidence”.

One member of staff told inspectors they had received limited training, saying: “It’s embarrassing really, and I just look like I don’t know what I am doing.”

Another told inspectors: “One lady nearly fell out of a hoist. I was sent out without any training. I had about 15 minutes moving and handling training and not even on the actual equipment I was going to be using.”

Two members of staff recounted the experience of their induction, with one saying: “I literally had no idea what I was supposed to do” and the other telling inspectors: “I had one short shadow session then was expected to do it later that day by myself. The only way it was ok was because [the person] talked me through how to do it [personal care routine]. Otherwise, it would have been a disaster.”

The CQC found the agency was in breach of Regulation 19 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 for its failure to provide staff with appropriate support and training.

It also found that the agency failed to operate effective systems to monitor care and maintain accurate records, which was also a breach of the Act.

It said the manager “responded immediately” to both these breaches, creating an action plan to ensure staff receive appropriate training and review systems for auditing and quality checks of care records.

Inspectors heard that staff were kind, caring and friendly, with comments including: “[Staff are] very engaging with my relative, they make it a friendly atmosphere, so she is also relaxed.”

The CQC has requested an action plan from Angelus Homecare on how it will improve the standards of quality and safety. It will work alongside the provider and local authority to “monitor progress” before returning to visit for a re-inspection.

Ajay Pratap, from Angelus, said: "CQC has done amazing job like they do always. That was our first inspection and [we] learnt a lesson. We are trying our best to get good rating soon and will keep providing care to the community."