The FINANCIAL — A Wembley care provider has refused to apologise to a family for providing poor quality care because it was the late owner’s dying wish not to do so.
For the second time Peepal Care Ltd had been found at fault by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, and has decided not to comply with its recommendations. This has led to the Ombudsman issuing a second extremely rare Adverse Findings Notice against the company.
Peepal Care is the only domiciliary care provider in England to have received two such notices.
In this case, the company was contracted to provide care for a woman in her home after she had a stroke. Crucially, the woman needed hoists to help her, but none of the four care workers the company sent over the six-day period had experience in using hoists safely.
One of the carer workers had no training, and did not have the right to work in the country.
The family complained to the Ombudsman about the poor quality of staff Peepal Care provided, and that the company only gave them a day’s notice before pulling out of the contract – leaving them having to find an urgent alternative.
The Ombudsman upheld the family’s complaint and made recommendations to put things right for the family and improve its services for others. The provider has declined to comply with the Ombudsman’s recommendations because, it claims, it was the late owner’s dying wish not to do so. It also argues it would show culpability to the family and leave it open to further claims.
Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said
“It is frankly unheard of for an organisation to use such an irrational excuse as a reason not to comply. That this is the only home care provider in England to have received two Adverse Findings Notices highlights just how much of an outlier this type of action is.
“The disdain it has shown towards our investigation, not to mention the family’s concerns, reflects poorly on Peepal Care.
“Our investigations, and how companies respond when we ask them to put things right, give families valuable information about who to choose when considering who to employ to look after their loved ones.”
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman’s role is to remedy injustice and share learning from investigations to help improve public, and adult social care, services. In this case the provider should apologise to the family and pay them £400 to acknowledge its failings and the time and trouble and distress stemming from the complaint. It should also reduce the outstanding invoice by half for failing to provide the expected level of service.
The Ombudsman has the power to make recommendations to improve processes for the wider public. In this case the provider should show the Ombudsman it has put procedures in place to recruit and vet all care workers properly. It should also ensure all care workers are properly trained before starting duties, or are supervised till training is complete. It should ensure care records are completed and stored in accordance with CQC guidelines and undertake training on data protection.