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York 'inadequate' care agency closes.

A national care agency has closed its York branch after it was rated inadequate by the healthcare watchdog and criticised for poor risk management.

Allied Healthcare, which supports people in their own homes in York, Harrogate and Northallerton, has transferred its care packages to other branches.

The agency was criticised after an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in March to check if Allied Healthcare had carried out requested improvements after being rated ‘requires improvement’ in 2015. 

But the latest CQC inspection led to a worse report and an ‘inadequate’ rating meant that Allied Healthcare’s York branch was placed in special measures. It was  marked inadequate for being ‘safe’ and ‘well-led’ and ‘requires improvement’ for being effective, caring and responsive.

The inspectors said: “During this inspection we found that not all care plans and risk assessments had been updated and there were still examples of ineffective risk management.

“We were also concerned about the lack of progress in addressing concerns with care plans and risk assessments identified in April 2015.

“People were supported to take their prescribed medication, although medication administration records (MARs) were not always well maintained and audits were not being effectively used to address these concerns.

“The system used to audit and monitor the quality of records was inadequate to identify concerns and drive improvements.”

The report also said that people who the CQC spoke with during the inspection raised concerns about the management of the service and lack of communication.

A statement from the agency said: “Allied Healthcare undertakes 17 million visits a year, and our extensive experience together with our investment in training and technology means that issues with our care delivery are uncommon.

“Where they do occur, our approach is to work closely with commissioning bodies to address and resolve any issues thoroughly and promptly. 

“We acknowledge that we had a number of issues in York, where it became increasingly difficult to offer the high standard of care that we deliver in other areas around Yorkshire within the financial parameters available.

“In light of this, Allied Healthcare has closed its York based services and has transferred remaining care packages to our other branches.”