A SERVICE providing care to vulnerable people has been told to improve after inspectors found they had been put at risk of abuse.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected Certain Care in Goldstone Road, Hove, last month after receiving concerns about the service not identifying or acting on potential incidents of abuse or harm.

The service provides personal care to 10 people living in their own homes in the community.

Inspectors rated the service "inadequate" for safety as it failed to hand over files containing evidence of Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

The inspection report says the registered manager told officials that these files had been lost.

The report adds: "We saw the provider had received evidence that alleged abuse may have taken place.

"The registered manager had not acted on this information and had not raised the issues with the appropriate authorities.

"Furthermore, the registered manager had not followed procedures to safeguard people from abuse.

"For example, protecting people using the service whilst any allegation of abuse is being investigated."

Additionally, inspectors found there were no systems in place to routinely test staff for Covid.

The report says that some staff were testing themselves before supporting people, but the provider was not following government guidelines requiring all staff to test themselves weekly.

"The registered manager was unaware that weekly testing was required, and did not have procedures in place to ensure that staff had access to testing kits," the inspection report says.

"There was also no formal system or contingency plan in place to monitor results and re-allocate staff, should staff test positive and need to self-isolate.

"Policies and procedures for controlling infection were relevant and up to date. However, they were not being followed by the provider.

"When we raised these issues with the provider, they immediately put a system of testing in place.

"However, people and staff had been placed at significant risk of harm."

The CQC gave the service an overall rating of "requires improvement", the second-lowest score.

Inspectors then issued a warning notice which details a specific time frame for the provider to improve.

Certain Care was contacted for comment.