TWO south Essex care services have been criticised by CQC and rated inadequate.

Ashley Care in Southend was rated “inadequate” by CQC in a report where inspectors were concerned by the lack of staffing.

It is a domiciliary care service providing personal care to people in their own homes, and at the time of inspection the service was providing support to 142 people.

Inspectors found the service was suffering from understaffing, with staff frequently running late.

One staff member told CQC: “We are so short staffed, that's why everyone is getting late and missed calls.

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“They [office] tend to give us excess amounts of clients, if you did the whole time, you would be well over time and into the lunch calls’ and, ‘On a weekend we can have 10 to 11 people, we try our best to fit everyone in.

“We do try to stay the allocated time, but we do not get travel time, so it is impossible to get to people when they want.

“There is definitely missed calls, sometimes we cannot get to people, and they cancel as it is too late.

“Clients have been left without calls or their medication"

At the time of the rating, Viv Storey, managing director at Ashley Care, said: "With the pressures on homecare at present unfortunately neither we or the majority of providers are able to give all our clients their preferred time of visit, if this was achievable all staff would only work between limited hours.

"Ashley Care will always strive to improve and are pleased to confirm that all surveys completed recently show clients are happy with their carers attendance and delivery of care.”

The Hollies in Westcliff was rated “inadequate” by CQC in a report where inspectors were able to enter the care home without staff knowledge.

It is a residential care home providing personal care for up to 10 people living with a learning disability and / or autism, and at the time of inspection there were nine people living at the service.

Inspections were concerned about the safety and security arranges at The Hollies.

They stated: “The security arrangements were not effective to keep people safe.

“The security of the premises was compromised on the first day of inspection as the inspector was able to enter the service without staff’s knowledge.

Inspectors also found that “not all risks were identified, recorded, and reviewed”.

They stated: “The arrangements to assess and monitor the service were not effective, meaning there were missed opportunities to mitigate risks, monitor trends, and learn from incidents.

“Not all risks for people were identified, recorded, and reviewed and risks relating to people’s health and well-being had not been considered or recorded.

The provider Eldercroft Care Home Limited were contacted several times at the time the rating was revealed but did not respond for comment.


With CQC any service that is rated inadequate overall will be placed straight into special measures.

The purpose of that is to:

1. Ensure that providers found to be providing inadequate care significantly improve.

2. Provide a framework within which CQC use our enforcement powers in response to inadequate care and work with, or signpost to, other organisations in the system to ensure improvements are made.

3. Provide a clear timeframe within which providers must improve the quality of care they provide or CQC will seek to cancel their registration.

Special measures do not replace CQC’s existing enforcement powers: it is likely that they will take enforcement action at the same time.

In some cases, they may need to take urgent action to protect people who use the service or to bring about improvement, in accordance with our enforcement policy.