Lewisham care service slammed for leaving patients waiting too long for carers to arrive

By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter

A care service has been criticised by the care watchdog after a patient claimed they were left stuck in bed because a member of staff didn’t turn up on time.

Another person claimed they missed a hospital appointment because carers at First Choice Social Care & Housing Limited, which offers services across Lewisham, didn’t get them ready in time, a report by the Care Quality Commission found.

One care worker allegedly arrived four hours late to a patient’s home, according to a health professional quoted in the report published on October 25.

An inspector found that staff arrived at a third of visits more than 45 minutes behind schedule.

In some cases workers were timetabled to be in two different places at once. A CQC inspector said an “ineffective deployment of staff” put people’s safety at risk and ordered the care service to improve.

But First Choice Social Care & Housing Limited, which is also known as Borough of Lewisham, said that the CQC report was inaccurate and denied staff turned up late to appointments.

The CQC report reads: “We found [an] example where a person remained in bed because the second of the required two care workers arrived one hour after the first care worker.

“That meant the initial care worker could not use the hoist alone to help the person out of bed.”

The manager added that the care service had drawn up an “action plan” following the CQC report. The CQC inspection was carried out over three days in June.

First Choice Social Care & Housing Limited was rated “requires improvement” overall, as well as for safety and how it was led.

The service retained a grade of ‘good’ for how caring it was, in addition to its effectiveness and responsiveness.

A statement by First Choice Social Care and Housing Limited’s solicitor, on behalf of the service, said: “As an organisation, safe and good quality care delivery to the people we support is of utmost importance to us.

“Many providers have faced unprecedented recruitment challenges alongside increased demand for services driven by local authority demand.

“The CQC inspection took place during a time when the organisation was moving over to a new record keeping IT system during the period of the inspection. Since the inspection, we have driven significant improvements most notably with the introduction of our new record keeping software.”

(Picture: Rawpixel)

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.

Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing:


If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.