A Croydon company which cares for adults and children with learning disabilities has been put into special measures by the health watchdog.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found that people were put at risk of harm as staff were regularly late to appointments, and tasks where two people were required to help the residents were not always carried out.

LIM Independent Living and Community Care Services Limited was visited by inspectors in March 2023 who published their report last week.

It was given the worst possible rating of ‘inadequate’ by the CQC and it is now in special measures.

At the time, the Thornton Heath-based company was caring for 38 people, including one child.

Inspectors found that there were a “high number” of appointments which were supposed to have two carers but only one arrived. 

Inspectors said: “This meant people who needed two care workers to hoist them or move them, for example, were at risk of potential harm.”

It also found that carers had not been given enough time to travel between their calls and there were a number of calls where staff had not stayed for the full duration of the appointment.

The report added: “The issues with late calls, calls being cut short, a lack of staff travel time between calls and calls where two staff did not overlap with each other when needed, meant there was not a sufficient number of staff to safely cover all the care calls.”

The inspector was told by the agency’s manager the issues with lateness was due to clients being spread out and issues with public transport making it hard for them to get there in time.

The report said: “The provider did not have a strategy or plan in place to improve the punctuality issues with care calls and this put some people at potential risk of harm.”

The failure to “deploy a sufficient number of staff” was a breach of regulations under the Health and Social Care Act.

The service will be kept under review by the CQC and re-inspected in six months.

If “significant improvements” haven’t been made the agency could be forced to close down.

The agency was contacted for comment.