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Heath Lodge Care Services Limited Requires improvement

We are carrying out checks at Heath Lodge Care Services Limited using our new way of inspecting services. We will publish a report when our check is complete.


Inspection carried out on 21 December 2016

During a routine inspection

This inspection took place on 21 December 2016 and was announced.

Heath Lodge Care Services Limited is a domiciliary care agency providing personal care for people in their own homes. This includes people that may be living with dementia, some that are old and frail, (that may have disabilities) and younger people with disabilities. There were 135 people using the service at the time of the inspection.

There was a registered manager in post. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the Care Quality Commission to manage the service. Like registered providers, they are ‘registered persons’. Registered persons have legal responsibility for meeting the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated Regulations about how the service is run.

People were not being protected against all risks and action had not always been taken to prevent the potential of harm. The provider did not always follow safe recruitment practices, so they did not know that all staff were suitable for the job. The provider was not able to demonstrate that all staff were interviewed for their role.

Staff were available to meet the needs of people however the provider was actively recruiting additional staff to cover for absences. Because of staff pressures and travel time some people did not always receive the full time they were contracted to receive.

Medicines were managed safely and people received their medicines when they needed.

People's rights were not protected because the staff did not act in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA). There was no evidence of anyone's capacity being assessed in relation to any decision and staff lacked knowledge of the MCA.

Staff did not always have the updated training they needed to meet people’s needs or have their competency checked to ensure their practice was to the expected standards. However people were positive about the care staff gave them. New staff were supported to complete an induction programme before working on their own, and people were supported by staff that had supervisions (one to one meetings) with their line manager.

Staff did not always have access to a fully personalised care plan including people’s history, needs and communication needs to use to guide their work.

The provider did not have effective systems in place to monitor the quality of care and support that people received. Field spot checks were not always carried out to ensure people received quality care and results of a customer satisfaction survey were not actioned. Staff reported because of lack of travel time they were sometimes late providing support to people.

Staff were aware of people's dietary needs and preferences, and people’s care records showed people's health care needs were met effectively.

People and their relatives told us that staff were caring and they were happy with the care they received.

People were actively involved in making decisions about their care, treatment and support, were supported to remain independent and were treated with dignity and respect.

People's concerns and complaints were encouraged, investigated and responded to in a timely manner. They were used as an opportunity for learning or improvement.

Staff were aware of the aims of the service and received a regular newsletter from the provider.#

During the inspection we found four breaches of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. We also made three recommendations to the registered provider. You can see what action we told the provider to take at the back of the full version of the report.

Inspection carried out on 7 March 2014

During a routine inspection

We did not talk to any people who used the service during this follow up visit. We had discussions with two staff at the service. We looked that the recruitment records we identified as having shortfalls during our visit of November 2013. We looked at the recruitment record for the member of staff employed since our last visit.

Inspection carried out on 20 November 2013

During a routine inspection

We undertook a visit to the office and looked at records relating to people who used the service and staff. During this time we had discussions with the registered manager and two members of staff. We undertook telephone surveys withan additional two members of staff.

We used an expert by experience to undertake surveys with 21 people who used the service. An expert by experience is a person who has had experience of using services.

People who used the service told us that staff asked for their permission before they undertook any tasks.

People told us that care staff treated them with respect and dignity. One person told us, “They [care staff] are lovely.” Another person told us, “They [care staff] treat me like they were my daughters.”

Most people we spoke to told us that they knew what their medicines were for and staff supported them with this.

People told us that care staff treated them in a way that reflected their individual needs. They told us that they thought the care staff were adequately trained.

People who used the service told us that they were consulted about their views on the service on a regular basis.

Inspection carried out on 15 March 2013

During a routine inspection

We undertook telephone surveys with five people who used the service, two relatives and five members of staff.

People who used the service told us that they made choices every day, and that their carers encouraged them to make choices. We were told that staff always attended to their personal care needs in private, and that the staff respected their privacy and dignity. They told us they had a care plan and they were aware of the contents. People told us that staff treated them with respect. One person told us, “The staff are very friendly and I get on with them well.” Another person told us, “staff treat me like a normal human being.”

People told us that they were very happy with the care they received from the agency.