The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found that 72% of clinics offering residential services for people withdrawing from drugs or alcohol had breached regulations of the Health and Social Care Act.
After conducting inspections of 68 providers of so called ‘detox’ services, the CQC (the regulatory body responsible for inspecting Health and Social Care providers in England) found that 60% had breached two or more regulations. The most frequent breach was regulation 12 of the Health and Social Care Act, ‘Safe care and treatment’, which 43 (63%) of the 68 service providers investigated breached.
Dr Paul Lelliott, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals at CQC, said they were ‘deeply concerned about how people undergoing…medical detoxification…are being cared for in many independent clinics across the country.’
Although medical detoxification from a residential service in England makes up only around 1% of the total number of people undergoing drug and alcohol treatment in the UK, this recent report was cause for concern at the CQC.
Detox services are designed to help individuals struggling with alcohol or drug addictions. The idea is to assist individuals to withdraw from dependence on these substances, whilst providing safe residential-based medical care.
In September 2017, CQC was given additional powers to rate independent substance misuse services as Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate, in the same way that it already does for NHS hospitals, GP practices, care homes and other services. Since the industry had recently come under the CQC’s remit of authority it conducted a study of ‘detox’ clinics over the last two years.
Further to this, the report found that many of the clinics were not sufficiently training their staff. This included a lack of training in safe handling of medicines, basic life support, consent and mental capacity, and safeguarding of adults.
These subjects are all essential parts of Care Certificate – the minimum standard that all staff working the health and social care sector should work with their employer to achieve. Whitehall Training’s online Care Certificate course is designed to prepare learners BEFORE they start working in the sector.
Since the CQC’s investigation some clinics have improved their services, however, four of the services are no longer operating following the concerns raised by CQC inspectors.