A charity for people with learning disabilities has said it is “devastated” after being rated ‘Inadequate’ by the CQC.
An inspection by the CQC found Sandwell Community Caring Trust in West Bromwich had “made decisions about people’s care without involving them and where it had no legal authority to do so”.
The regulator said this included administering medicines “covertly” and using surveillance equipment, which “did not follow the principles of the Mental Capacity Act”.
The CQC said the situation “had developed because the service’s senior leaders had not ensured staff received the right training”, adding leaders had “not taken all reasonable steps to ensure national guidelines were followed”.
On a positive note, the CQC said “people did provide positive feedback about the service and they reported having good relationships with staff providing their care”.
Sandwell Community Caring Trust said it had been providing care and support to adults with learning disabilities for almost 25 years and the rating of its services had always been good.
A spokesperson said: “Our primary focus has always been on providing high quality services valued by the people we care for and their families. Our organisation is therefore devastated by the findings in our report and the language used in the press release.
“We would like to point out that some of the areas for which we received criticism in our report we were commended for in our previous report in 2019. The decisions which were made regarding the people we care for and support were always made openly and transparently and with the knowledge and support of the other external professionals involved in their care and their families.
“It is important to understand that the criticism in the report is almost exclusively concerned with the way the decisions were recorded because they did clearly show the decision making process. In 25 years our record for safeguarding and keeping people safe has been exemplary.
“Our organisation has taken urgent steps to address the concerns highlighted by our regulator. We already have an action plan in place which has been accepted by our regulator and in a recent email that they were assured by our prompt and comprehensive response.”