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Darlington Extra Care Services Good

Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 1 March 2016

Darlington Extra Care provide assistance with personal care, bathing, meal preparation, supervision and assistance with medicines and support to attend social events within the individual schemes. The four housing schemes around Darlington all provide different numbers of flats within each site with 24 hour help for older people being available.

We carried out this unannounced inspection commencing on 18 January 2016. We spoke with staff via telephone on the 19 and 20 January and visited two of the sites and spoke with people using the service and staff on 21 January 2016.

We met with the registered manager who has been in post for over five years and was the registered manager with the previous organisation before Making Space took over the service. 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.

Currently team leaders were employed at all four of the service’s schemes around Darlington and they facilitated the day to day running of the extra care services and liaised with the housing registered provider if needed.

People we spoke with who received personal care felt the staff were knowledgeable, skilled and the care package met their needs. Staff knew the people they were supporting well. People who used the service seemed comfortable with the members of staff who were supporting them. Staff told us people received good care and support.

Staff undertook the management of medicines safely. There were procedures in place to support staff and staff we spoke with told us they were trained and felt confident in medicines management.

People told us they felt confident that should concerns be raised these would be dealt with appropriately. People told us they could contact the manager or staff at the service if they needed to discuss anything. People said they had the opportunity to talk about their opinions of the service during reviews.

The manager and staff we spoke with told us they had attended training in the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005. MCA is legislation to protect and empower people who may not be able to make their own decisions, particularly about their health care, welfare or finances.

Records we saw confirmed Darlington Extra Care had effective recruitment and selection policies in place which ensured staff members were of good character and had the required skills to perform their work.

Staff we spoke with told us they felt supported and they spoke highly of the training provided by the service. We saw that meetings with staff both individually and collectively were positive and well recorded.

We saw care plans and risk assessments were developed with the person and staff were able to show us that they were clear and easy to follow.

There was a robust quality assurance process carried out by the service and registered provider as well as close monitoring of accidents and incidents. We saw the service had responded to any learning and improvements it needed to make to its service.

Inspection areas



Updated 1 March 2016

The service was safe.

We found that there were effective processes in place to make sure people were protected from bullying, harassment, avoidable harm and abuse. Staff took appropriate action to raise and investigate incidents.

The registered provider had procedures and systems in place to ensure there were sufficient numbers of suitable staff were recruited to meet the demands of the service.

Where they provided personal care the registered provider made sure staff had all the necessary skills.

Appropriate systems were in place for the management and administration of medicines.



Updated 1 March 2016

The service was effective.

We found the registered provider had taken measures to ensure staff provided effective care and were able to meet people’s needs. Staff were trained and supported to deliver the care and support people required.

Staff understood the importance of obtaining people’s consent prior to any tasks being undertaken and knew what to do if someone lacked the capacity to make decisions about their care.

Staff were good at identifying if people appeared unwell and ensuring they sought appropriate medical care.



Updated 1 March 2016

The service was caring.

We heard the staff had developed positive relationships with people and were extremely caring and kind.

People told us they were encouraged to express their views and were actively involved in designing their care packages.

Each care package was specifically designed to meet the exact requirements of the person.



Updated 1 March 2016

The service was responsive.

We found the care packages offered were now more responsive to people’s need via the inclusion of social care support.

The service was responding to changing needs by accessing more resources and training around dementia and end of life care.

We found effective processes were in place for listening and learning from people’s experiences, their concerns and complaints.



Updated 1 March 2016

The service was well-led.

Staff members and people told us the registered manager and team leaders were accessible and supportive.

The service has a robust quality assurance process that focussed on continuous improvement.

The registered manager and provider had ensured the culture of the service was person-centred and safe during a time of transition.