Fraud arrest at Welwyn Garden City care provider

PUBLISHED: 13:34 07 November 2018 | UPDATED: 10:57 08 November 2018

A fired manager from AC Homecare has been arrested for fraud. Picture: Getty Immages/iStockphoto

A fired manager from AC Homecare has been arrested for fraud. Picture: Getty Immages/iStockphoto

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A man has been arrested on suspicion of fraud, and an inspection at a Welwyn Garden City care service has also revealed falsified records and a care manager who was not registered.

A Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection at AC Homecare uncovered falsified records and a care manager who was not registered.

Inspectors from the CQC were tipped off by whistleblowers and arrived at AC Homecare’s offices on August 14 to find that nine of the staff had had no DBS checks or training since they were hired in January by a new manager.

The nine staff were taken off duty immediately and the county council had to step in to arrange care for 10 people out of the 53 who use AC Homecare’s services.

According to the CQC report, AC Homecare said they had been told the manager had applied for registration, even though he hadn’t.

He was fired in August.

His “unhelpful and aggressive manner” was a barrier to staff and families who raised concerns, according to the CQC report.

“[He] took all my rights away, they made me feel worthless,” said one person.

The inspection found that training records had been falsified and some care plans and risk assessments were not detailed.

In one instance, paramedics had arrived to help one of the care home users only to find they had no access to the records of what medicine the user had taken.

One staff member said: “I felt quite upset, I had no training in helping people with their medicines.”

The care provider’s previous rating of ‘requires improvement’ remained the same. But AC Homecare has “completed a significant amount of work to improve the service” after the inspection, said the CQC.

By the time inspectors returned in September, seven of the nine suspended staff had been DBS checked, fully trained, and ready to work again. One person said: “The carers are the most wonderful girls in the world.”

AC Homecare’s director has stepped in as care manager. He told the Welwyn Hatfield Times yesterday: “The work [the fired manager] failed to do took away from the hard work that staff did on a daily basis.

“It was a bit of a blow for us.

“We were talking to all our staff and we were very candid about it, and what we were doing to put this right.”

He also said in an earlier statement: “AC Homecare has a long and proud tradition of delivering domiciliary care services of the highest quality, and all staff receive regular training to ensure this remains so. Delivering top quality care for our clients remains our number one priority.”

A staff member told the CQC: “I am very confident we will get through this.”

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