A BASINGSTOKE care agency has been told it needs to improve following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Versita Care Limited, based in Roman Road, Winklebury, was visited by the health watchdog in April and a report published this month graded it as ‘requires improvement’ overall.

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The agency provides personal care to people with learning disabilities and behavioural difficulties in two shared houses on a housing estate.

At the time of the inspection there were five people using the service who all had their own bedroom with a shared lounge, kitchen and bathrooms.

Inspectors found that Versita “did not have a robust policy in place to ensure new staff were recruited following the necessary checks”.

The report added: “The provider had not notified us of notifiable events which they needed to under the legislation.

“Risk assessments were in place and action taken to reduce risks. However, we noted two specific risks had been identified but not enough information was available to mitigate the risks.”

The CQC also found that the provider was not following current government guidance regarding the use of personal protective equipment and Covid-19 testing.

The report said that the registered manager responded to the issues straight away and made changes.

“For example, after we highlighted current government guidance, they told us staff had started to wear face masks again,” the report said.

Inspectors found Versita was ‘good’ in three categories: effective, caring, and responsive.

However, it found it ‘requires improvement’ in two areas: safe and well-led.

The report said the service was able to demonstrate how it is meeting the “underpinning principles” of statutory guidance when it comes to providing support to people with a learning disability and / or autistic people.

“People’s needs were assessed to ensure the provider can meet people’s needs before they agreed to provide care and support. The provider ensured there were enough staff to meet people’s assessed needs,” inspectors said.

The CQC also found that the provider worked with other agencies to ensure people’s needs were supported; people were supported with taking their medicines by staff who had received medicines training; and people were supported by staff who treated them with kindness.

The report said: “Staff encouraged people to be involved in making decisions about their care. Staff respected people’s privacy and dignity.”

Care plans were found to be “individual and personalised” while people were “supported to prepare and cook their own meals”.

The CQC found that Versita was breaching regulations regarding safety checks on new staff, and it was asked to create an action to identify how it will improve “the standards of quality and safety”.

The CQC said: “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.”

Dr Jey Ngole, chief executive of Versita Care, said: "We are pleased to comment that Versita Care did accept all the service improvement recommendations made by the CQC. The Service's "Report of Actions" was promptly shared with the CQC and other stakeholders.

"The "Report of Actions" details actions that have been fully implemented, those that are work-in-progress as well as a timeline of when all the actions would be closed."

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