A Downham care agency which provides personal care to people living in their own homes has been placed in special measures.

Carers Elite Limited was given an overall rating of inadequate following an announced inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in February.

Inspectors found the business, which supports 80 adults in West Norfolk, was found to be inadequate in the leading and  safety of the service it provides.

In addition, inspectors rated three areas of the service –  effective, caring and  responsive – all requiring improvement.

A CQC report published last month of key findings, said it had found a number of breaches of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.

These related to person-centred care, safe care and treatment of people using the service, complaints, good governance of the service, staffing and fit and proper person employed.

“We are taking action against the provider for failing to meet regulations,” the report stated.

The inspection team noted risks to people’s health were not always identified.

The report said: “Where they were identified, the service had not always taken appropriate actions to minimise the risks to people’s welfare.

“In some cases, potential risks to people had been inaccurately assessed. People were placed at risk.”

The report said numbers of available staff and their deployment was not effective in ensuring service user’s needs were met in a “timely way”.

It added staff had not received appropriate levels of training in dementia awareness and end-of -life care.

“People’s care plans did not contain accurate, up-to-date or clear information for staff to help ensure they provided a safe and good standard of care and support to people.

“People’s preferences had not always been identified so that staff could provide care in the way people wanted,” the report said.

It added staff did not always respect professional boundaries.

However, inspectors highlighted staff were “kind and caring” and sought people’s consent before providing them with support.

In response to the report manager of Carers Elite, Jonathon Lofthouse, said personal and staffing issues had impacted the business which was formed in 2015.

He said he had been working closely with a CQC inspector since the visit.

“He said he could see we had made a lot of changes within the business,” said Mr Lofthouse.

“This is a mere fly in the ointment of what I see as a strong and well-functioning business with wonderful service users and staff. We have implemented the relevant changes and look forward to the CQC’s return.”

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