Harlow’s Lloyd Pharmacy Homecare rated inadequate after government inspection

Health / Mon 14th Mar 2022 pm31 03:10pm

A HARLOW homecare provider has been put on special measures after a health watchdog found it was “understaffed” and nurses worked overtime to provide effective care reports the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

The Care Quality Commission rated Lloyds Pharmacy Clinical Homecare, in Harlow, inadequate after an unannounced inspection at the end of last year.

According to a CQC report published in February 2022, the service did not employ enough nurses with the right qualifications and experience to deliver effective care.

However, the watchdog did say patients were treated with compassion and kindness and that the service managed safety incidents well and learned lessons from investigations.

Lloyds Pharmacy Clinical Homecare was approached for comment multiple times by the LDRS.

The patient services department was also understaffed and was not responding to people within the service’s policy timeframe.

60 per cent of the staff disagreed or strongly disagreed the organisation valued and supported them, according to a survey conducted by the CQC.

A section of the report reads: “Nurses spoke about always striving to deliver excellent care to patients. 

“However, they raised concerns at the number of hours they were working which were in excess of their contracted hours. 

“Although they were paid for the additional hours, staff felt this had an impact on their morale.”

Some nurses had not received mandatory training, with only 32 per cent having completed equality and diversity training and 53 per cent having completed complaints, incident management and reporting training.

According to the report, the service employs 125 people in patient services and 49 nurses with 28 in post and a further 12 due to start between December 2021-February 2022.

There were 15 patient services vacancies and 19 nursing vacancies at the time of the inspection.

Timesheets revealed nurses were often working without a break and the report says actions taken to mitigate this, such as giving nurses time back, might not be fully effective.

The service also employed agency nurses on zero-hour contracts.

The report continues to say the service’s whistleblowing register recorded ten whistleblowing concerns raised since June 2021, four of which were anonymous, five were from patients one was from named person and three were raised to the CQC.

In the staff survey, 83 per cent of clinical and 73 per cent of managerial staff said they suffered more work-related stress in the last year than in other roles. 51 per cent of the staff said they would not recommend Lloyds Pharmacy Clinical Homecare as a place to work.

Between May-October 2021, 51 per cent of calls to patient services went unanswered.

According to the report, this was partly affected by problems with IT systems and an outbreak of Covid-19.

Five patients told the inspectors they had to wait up to 40 minutes for their calls to be answered.

However, during a second site visit by inspectors, this had improved to 75 per cent of calls being answered, with an average wait time of 6 minutes.

The report did give the service a “good” rating for the category of caring, and also said it controlled the risk of infection well, maintained its facilities and equipment, kept detailed records of patients’ care, managed safety incidents well and took concerns and complaints seriously.

The full report is below.

Helen Brown

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9 Comments for Harlow’s Lloyd Pharmacy Homecare rated inadequate after government inspection:

Michael Denyer
2022-03-15 06:37:06

This company need to value their staff more…. better pay and better working conditions. They need to employ more staff and train them properly while valuing the staff they have who are under too much pressure.

2022-03-15 07:03:46

I’ve worked for this company, the pay is rubbish considering the pressure you are under constantly. Nobody is valued, everyone is just a number. Some managers have no managerial/people skills. They sit around talking whilst watching the staff under immense pressure, and calls building up. It’s a a shame, used to be a nice company to work for until it got bought out - then if all changed!

2022-03-15 09:40:29

I worked for this company, just before the pandemic hit. We were under pressure then and it doesn't surprise me that they are still under pressure. On top of this, I had my personal problems going as well. A battle with a health condition that only now has been diagnosed and possibly being treated and also problems at home. While they were supportive. I did find that while friendly one to one. My experience outside of private meetings was very different. I also have mild autism so I continually struggled in that environment. I found managers who friendly in meeting rooms becoming demanding. Even colleagues became concerned about what I was doing because the system allows everyone to see what you are doing. I remember being always busy and being told never to keep things short on the phone. Sometimes providing quality service means slowing down. I always felt proud of the what I did. Was a shame the pressure of life and the workplace itself became too much and eventually I chose to resign.

2022-03-15 13:55:26

This isn't surprising really, when I first joined they had managers familiar with all roles. There are 3 main sections for customer services. Low tech, mid tech and high tech. Each more demanding than the last. Most of the high tech therapies lost managers who knew the therapies in and out. High tech consists of Cancer Treatment, HPN and antibiotics. The new managers that came over to the high tech team never bothered to learn the roles and consequently couldn't support the staff when it was needed. One manager, who came up from low tech even copied and pasted a Wikipedia article to explain to me the importance of my role. That manager themselves only being part of high tech for 2 weeks. There was no over time pay for high tech staff and we were expected to stay behind for the love of our patients. They were our own patients and if the work wasn't done no one else would pick it up and often the drugs are life saving so of course we stayed. There isn't enough training or enough members on the teams to work through all the trials and problems of the day. Instead of management being supportive and trying to see how they can help, they reply with sarcastic emails of Web links. I'm so glad I left as my mental health was in tethers working here. Finally, as mentioned managers were supportive in meeting but then laughing or joking about it later in the smoking area so the rest of the staff knew what was happening in your personal life anyway. Total lack of respect for staff and their wellbeing. I only hope it improves as the work they do is so important to the patients but not worth the pay, the panic attacks and the pressure.

2022-03-15 14:05:00

Five staff, myself included, left within six weeks of each other May to June 2021. A total service of 125 years between us and the managers did nothing to stop it…they just broke us and the patients are left to suffer

2022-03-15 14:59:37

If there anything like Lloyds pharmacy I'm not surprised they must have same management.

2022-03-15 17:57:01

I complained about social distancing not being adhered too and was singled out for being a bad influence….. so I left

2022-03-17 18:57:43

I have worked for this horrible company. The way the managers speak to their employees is disgusting. They are treated like children. The pay is awful compared to what we have to go through. The lack of employees and managerial skills meant we were subject to abuse on the phone constantly for the 2 hour wait time for our patients - their anger is understandable. How they let their patients go without meds, belittle and bully staff, under pay, keep us under constant stress (which actually made me really ill) should not go unnoticed.

Hindsight is 20/20
2022-03-17 22:50:53

The most concerning thing about this is somehow, after leaving many years ago, it somehow became worse. The patient service coordinators were verbally branded, by high management, as "just" customer service when explaining why the pay was so low. There is absolutely no pay variance between roles. Low tech has up to 7 departments which handle different process of patient services; Implementation , prescription building, in bound services, outbound services, prescription management, procurement and task team. If you were allocated to mid or hi tech therapies you were expected to fulfil all 7 of these roles day to day, but get paid the exact same. The base starting salary is 17.5k - after 3 years it rose to 18.2k. Employee retention/satisfaction didnt mean anything to them then and I highly doubt it means anything to them now. And as management said... we were paid accordingly because "we were just customer service". All of this was a good few years prior to covid, god knows what hell they put staff through within that time, something along the lines of cracking whips no doubt.

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