A CARE provider that offers a home help service to vulnerable residents whose safety was jeopardised could be forced to close unless improvements are made within the next six months.

Dodworth-based Stars Social Support provide personal care to people living in their own home and received an inadequate rating following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Visits - carried out during August and September - were done by inspectors who found some residents were at risk of ‘avoidable harm’.

Having been told it required improvement during a previous visit in May last year, its overall rating has been downgraded to ‘inadequate’ - plunging the service into the CQC’s lowest-performing category.

According to a report, the CQC will reassess their findings in six months’ time and, if ‘significant improvements’ are not found, the provider will effectively be banned from operating.

In Text Promo Image

“Stars Social Support is a domiciliary care agency and it provides personal care to people in their own houses and flats,” the report said.

“We gave 24 hours’ notice of the inspection. This was because it is a small service and we needed to be sure that the provider would be in the office to support the inspection.

“At this inspection not enough improvements had been made and the provider was still in breach of regulations. The overall rating for the service has deteriorated to inadequate, based on the findings at this inspection.

“People were not safe and were at risk of avoidable harm. We found no evidence that people had been harmed, however systems were either not in place or robust enough to demonstrate recruitment was effectively managed. This was a continued breach of regulation.

“If there is still a rating of inadequate for any key question upon re-inspection, we will take action in line with our enforcement procedures. This will mean we will begin the process of preventing the provider from operating this service, which usually leads to the cancellation of their registration.”

The company’s recruitment procedures, training and medicine distribution were also condemned by inspectors.

“Safe recruitment procedures were not in place to ensure only staff suitable to work in the caring profession were employed,” the report said. “Gaps in employment history were not followed up, and people’s references were not followed up after they had been requested.( “When the disclosure and baring service (DBS) identified concerns, a risk assessment had not been completed to assess staff suitability.

“The provider had not provided effective oversight and governance of the service’s safety and quality to ensure all regulatory requirements were met.

“For example, the concerns we identified at this inspection relating to medicines, staff recruitment, training and risk assessments, had not been identified by the provider.”

The Chronicle contacted Stars Social Support for a response but no-one was available.