A care home where residents were left ‘at risk of financial abuse’ has been placed in special measures by the Care Quality Commission.
Inspectors rated the CareTech Community Services Ltd home in Streatham, London, as ‘inadequate’ overall, after an inspection in May.
The inspection found residents were at risk of financial abuse because the registered manager of the home had failed to escalate allegations.
The report also said “staff had mishandled people’s money because money was being lent between people using the service, their financial records were not always correctly and did not always match the money available to them”.
The CQC raised a safeguarding alert with the local authority safeguarding team and is now “taking further action” in line with its enforcement policy to resolve issues at the home, which supports adults with learning disabilities and mental health issues.
A spokesperson for CareTech Community Services Limited said no service user had suffered any financial loss and “the issue relating to financial records relates to less than £100 being lent between two services users being incorrectly recorded”.
The home was rated ‘inadequate’ in three of the CQC’s five lines of enquiry – safety, leadership and effectiveness – after it was found to be in breach of five of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.
Inspectors found there were insufficient levels of staff to care for people, not all staff had received a criminal records check, and medicines were not always stored safely. The building was also in a poor state of repair and not always clean.
The service was rated ‘requires improvement’ for being caring and responsive.
Debbie Ivanova, deputy chief inspector of adult social care for the CQC, said: “We found breaches of regulations were related to person-centred care, safe care and treatment, safeguarding people from abuse and improper treatment, premises and equipment, good governance and staffing. CQC is considering the appropriate regulatory response to resolve the problems we found in respect of these regulations.”
The spokesperson for CareTech added: “CareTech is working with the CQC to resolve the issues raised in connection with the Garrads Road facility. We are committed to providing the very highest standards of care to the people living there and we continue to maintain an active dialogue with them, their families and the CQC.
“We have undertaken a thorough review of the service offered at Garrads Road and we are implementing a robust plan to address the concerns accordingly.”