Collaborative Care Solutions, a domiciliary care agency that provides supported living services in Slough, has been rated ‘inadequate’ following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The service operates five locations across Slough. It supports people with mental health conditions and associated needs, people living with learning disabilities and autistic people.

At the time of the inspection, 16 people were being supported by the service. Inspectors visited three settings and and reviewed the care of six people.

What inspectors found

The CQC expects health and social care providers to guarantee people with a learning disability and autistic people:

  • Respect
  • Equality
  • Dignity
  • Choices
  • Independence
  • Good access to local communities that most people take for granted.

‘Right support, right care, right culture’ is the guidance the CQC follows to make assessments about services that support people with a learning disability and autistic people.

Right support

Inspectors found that people being supported by Collaborative Care Solutions were exposed to “avoidable risk of harm”. Systems supposed to ensure the safe and proper management of medicines were inadequate, and not all staff were competent to administer medicines in line with best practice guidance.

At their previous inspection of Collaborative Care Solutions, the CQC found that care plans and risk assessments lacked robust and clear guidance, and included incorrect or conflicting information. This was still the case in September 2023.

Inspectors also found that staff had not always been safely recruited. References had not always been appropriately obtained, and inspectors were not assured that staff had access to training.

The provider’s monitoring systems were also deemed inadequate because failures identified at the inspection were not all known about or acted upon.

Right care

People being supported by Collaborative Care Solutions, and their families, provided inspectors with positive feedback about the skills and experience of staff. People were treated with kindness, and staff were person-centred in their approach. This promoted people’s privacy and dignity.

People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives, and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests. The policies and systems in place at the service supported this practice.

People using the service told the CQC they were supported effectively with food and drink, and had choice and involvement in their care.

Right culture

Inspectors found that governance systems at Collaborative Care Solutions remained inadequate, and that the service was not well led.

According to the CQC’s report, the provider failed to carry out their regulatory responsibilities and did not have adequate oversight of the service.

Collaborative Care Solutions had not submitted all relevant statutory notifications when incidents had occurred. Inspectors also concluded that the provider lacked robust assessments and controls to protect people and keep them safe.

Five key questions

The CQC also uses five key questions to help decide whether a service is working well for people.

These are:

  • Is the service safe?
  • Is it effective?
  • Is it caring?
  • Is it responsive?
  • Is it well led?

While Collaborative Care Solutions was rated ‘good’ against the key questions about caring and responsiveness, it was rated ‘requires improvement’ for effectiveness and ‘requires improvement’ for safety and leadership. It therefore received a rating of ‘requires improvement’ overall.

What happens next

Collaborative Care Solutions has been in ‘special measures’ since 27 January 2023. It will remain in ‘special measures’ following this inspection.

The CQC will request an action plan from the provider to understand what they will do to improve the standards of quality and safety. It will work alongside the provider and local authority to monitor progress. This will help inform when another inspection takes place – which will be at some point over the next six months.

If Collaborative Care Solutions has not made enough improvement within this timeframe, and there is still a rating of inadequate for any key question or overall rating, the CQC will take action in line with its enforcement procedures. This will mean beginning the process of preventing the provider from operating this service, which usually leads to cancellation of their registration or varying its conditions.

The full report on Collaborative Care Solutions is available to read on the CQC’s website.

Have your say

Don’t forget – if you or a loved one have experience of care from this provider, you can rate and review the service right here on our website.

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Published on 10 Jan

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