A CARE agency has been ordered to improve after its latest inspection.

Healthcare watchdog, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), carried out a “focused” inspection of GreenSquareAccord Oldham after concerns were raised.

Two of the five areas care providers are marked on, care and leadership, were monitored in a visit by the CQC.

Following the inspection, both areas were placed in the category of “requires improvement”, a step down from their previous ratings of “good”. Its overall score has also been moved down from “good” to “requires improvement”.

People were “placed at risk of harm” as governance systems were needed to be improved, the CQC reported.

This was a regulation breach of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

Two more regulation breaches were found as well.

The CQC report said: “Medicines records were not managed safely.

“Risks were not always appropriately assessed. People’s care plans indicated they had specific health conditions, which had not always been risk assessed.

“Some people’s risk assessments referenced other people so were not relevant to the person, meaning we could not be assured risks had been appropriately considered or mitigated.

“Staffing levels were not safe.

“Staffing numbers and deployment did not ensure people received their calls reliably and on time.

“Some people and relatives expressed a difficulty getting in touch with the office when there was an issue.

“Most care staff told us they felt the service did not have enough staff.

“Care plan audits were in place but did not identify the issues raised around risks in the safe domain.

“Medicines audits were in place and did identify similar concerns to those found on inspection, however, these issues remained unresolved.”

The care agency, which was providing care to 312 people during the CQC visit, still has a ranking of "good" for three other areas, whether it is "effective", "caring" and "responsive".

Interim director of operations at GreenSquareAccord, Eoin Keogh, said: “We welcome the CQC report and take its findings seriously.

"The sector wide staffing challenges have impacted the branch significantly.

"While our priority has been to maintain frontline care delivery, we acknowledge that this has had some impact on record keeping.

"The service is working with our internal quality and compliance team and Commissioners to deliver a programme of service improvements.

"Despite the national shortages we are doing everything we can to manage these challenges and want to take this opportunity to acknowledge our front line care team for their positive work despite the workforce capacity challenges.

"We want to assure our customers, and their families, that our team at Oldham is committed to providing the best care to our customers, and their safety and welfare is our first priority.”