The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated a London-based private nursing services provider as inadequate and placed it in special measures.
The regulator revealed that following an inspection in March Harley Street Nurses has been rated as inadequate, placed in special measures and has been prevented from taking on new patients without prior written agreement.
It also revealed it carried out a focused inspection following concerns raised about how safe and well-led the service was.
Concerns raised include:
- That none of the managers had clinical experience. The service did employ a nurse consultant, but their work was focused on recruitment of nurses and did not have any significant role or structured involvement in clinical activities.
- That managers had no oversight of clinical activities and governance arrangements for the monitoring and management of the service were insufficient.
- There were no systems in place to ensure staff were working safely. There was no oversight of risk management and no systems in place to ensure that staff responded to risks.
- The service did not always control infection risk well. Although personal protective equipment was provided to staff, there were no systems in place for the service to check that staff were compliant with the requirements for infection control. Additionally, the service did not investigate situations where staff may have contracted infections at work.
- Staff received no supervision. While staff could contact the nurse consultant, this was entirely at their own discretion. There were no systems for providing support to nurses or monitoring their performance.
- Managers did not have access to patients’ records. There were no systems for ensuring that record keeping was sufficient, accurate and complete.
- The service did not always manage medicines well. There were no systems for reviewing medicine records or checking for medicine errors.
Helen Rawlings head of hospital inspection at the CQC said upon inspection the regulator was concerned to find that none of the managers had clinical experience and leaders did not have the experience to run the service.
“Staff received no supervision, and there were no systems in place to ensure that they were working safely. In addition, staff had a limited understanding of how to protect patients from abuse,” she said.
“We have told the provider it must ensure that care and treatment is provided in a safe way to patients and must establish effective systems and processes to ensure good governance of the service.
“It must also ensure that staff receive the appropriate support, professional development, supervision and appraisal, to enable them to carry out their duties effectively.
“The service is now in special measures, which means that it will be kept under review and re-inspected within six months to check for significant improvements.”
Health & Protection has contacted Harley Street Nurses for comment who are disputing the findings with the CQC.