Care agency hits out at health inspectors who ordered improvements

Catchers Care was inspected earlier this year. Picture: Derek Martin
Catchers Care was inspected earlier this year. Picture: Derek Martin

The manager of a care agency ordered to improve has hit out at health inspectors.

Marilyn Clark, manager of Catchers Care in Ferring Street, Ferring, criticised the delayed visit and high fees charged by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

She said: “If the report is read thoroughly it is abundantly clear service is provided with care, kindness and respect.”

Inspectors said in their report published this month: “People told us they were happy with the care received.

“Yet we found aspects of the service were not always safe and needed improvement.

“On occasions staff were involved in an error relating to people and their medicines.

“Records captured actions taken by the provider to minimise any further risks. However actions taken did not include reporting the incident to the West Sussex safeguarding team.”

Inspectors said it was not always clear who made care decisions and why because mental capacity assessments were not completed.

They added: “We observed personalised care being provided to people and their privacy and dignity respected. Staff understood their responsibilities and feel well supported, mostly due to the ‘family-run’ environment.”

But manager Marilyn Clark criticised the CQC: “We are a small provider and in 14 years we have never had a safeguarding complaint raised against us. In previous inspections we have attained the highest standards.

“This report detailed the need to improve in areas related to paperwork. This has been done.

“Our last client survey shows an 89 per cent rating of excellent and very good.

“We do the best job we can, mindful of the responsibility of caring for a special group of people.

“Our fee to the CQC has risen 175 per cent since 2015.

“Our ‘annual’ inspection was three-and-a-half years’ since the last and despite complying with all the recommendations in this report the rating will stay until the next inspection in one, two or three-and-a-half years time.

“Perhaps the CQC should look to improve its own performance in relation to the timing of inspections?”

A CQC spokesman said: “Catchers Care Limited was previously inspected in February 2014 and found compliant in all areas.

“The provider had a change to the office address in October 2015 which was completed in February 2016.

“Due to the change a new timeframe was issued and the service should have been inspected in February (within 12 months). We have since conducted an inspection.

“We accept we were on this occasion unable to meet our timeframes and have apologised to the provider.”