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Inspection Summary


Overall summary & rating

Good

Updated 6 September 2017

This announced inspection was undertaken on Monday 24 July 2017. The inspection was announced to ensure it could be facilitated on that day by the registered manager. This was the first comprehensive inspection we had undertaken at this service since registering with CQC in January 2016.

Harmony Homecare North West is a domiciliary care agency that is registered to provide personal care to people in their own homes and is also registered to provide a sitting service to children. The agency provides support to people living in the Wigan area of Greater Manchester. At the time of the inspection there were approximately 160 people using the service. This was the first comprehensive inspection we had undertaken at this location.

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.

The people we spoke with told us they felt safe. The staff we spoke with had a good understanding about safeguarding and whistleblowing procedures and told us they wouldn’t hesitate to report concerns about people’s safety.

We looked at how medication was handled at one of the houses we visited. We found Medication Administration Records (MARs) were signed by staff when medication had been administered. People who used the service also told us they received their medication as part of their care package and told us they always received it on time.

We found there were sufficient staff to care for people safely. Staff spoken with didn’t raise any concerns about staffing numbers within the service and said their rotas were well managed, with sufficient travel time available in between calls.

Staff were recruited safely, with appropriate checks undertaken before they began working with people who used the service. This included ensuring Disclosure Barring Service/Criminal Records Bureau (DBS/CRB) checks were undertaken and references from previous employers sought.

The staff we spoke with told us they had access to sufficient training and supervision as part of their on-going development. Staff said they felt supervision was an important part of their job role where they could discuss different aspects of their work. Some staff training still needed to be completed, however the registered manager confirmed these courses were in the process of being arranged.

Staff provided support to people to eat and drink as necessary. This included assistance with food preparation and ensuring people were left with something to drink when their call had finished. One person had recently commenced with a mashed diet due to them having swallowing problems and this was recorded in their care plan.

The people we spoke with and their relatives told us they were happy with the care provided by the service. People told us staff treated them with dignity and respect and promoted their independence as much as possible.

Each person who used the service had a care plan in place and we saw a copy was kept in the person’s home and at the office. The care plans provided an overview of each person’s care needs and were updated when things changed. The people we spoke with also said an initial assessment was undertaken, when they first started using the service. This enabled the service to understand the level of care people needed.

The service distributed satisfaction questionnaires to people, asking for their comments about the service. This enabled the service to continually improve its practice with the aid of people’s experiences.

There was a complaint’s procedure in place, this procedure enabled people to state if they were unhappy with the service. The people we spoke with were aware of how to make a complaint. The service also collated positive compliments that had been made based on people’s experiences.

People who used the service and staff told us they felt the service was well managed. Staff told us they felt well supported and would feel comfortable raising and discussing concerns.

We saw there were systems in place to monitor the quality of service provided. This was done in the form of audits, spot checks and observations of staff undertaking their work. Staff also had access to policies and procedures if they needed to seek guidance in a particular area.

Inspection areas

Safe

Good

Updated 6 September 2017

The service was safe.

The people we spoke with and their relatives told us they felt safe as a result of the care they received.

Staff were recruited safely and appropriate checks were undertaken.

The service had carried out risk assessments in people’s houses to help keep people safe.

Effective

Good

Updated 6 September 2017

The service was effective.

We found staff had received training in core topics and staff told us they felt supported to undertake their work. Some staff training still needed to be completed, however the registered manager confirmed these courses were in the process of being arranged.

Staff told us they received supervision as part of their on-going development.

Caring

Good

Updated 6 September 2017

The service was caring.

The people we spoke with and their relatives told us they were happy with the care and support provided by staff.

People told us they were treated with dignity and respect and were allowed privacy at the times they needed it.

People said they were offered choice by a staff team, who promoted their independence where possible.

Responsive

Good

Updated 6 September 2017

The service was responsive.

We saw initial assessments were completed when people first started using the service, with appropriate care plans implemented thereafter.

There was a complaints procedure in place, allowing people to state if they were unhappy with the service.

The service had sent satisfaction surveys, seeking people’s views about the service.

Well-led

Good

Updated 6 September 2017

The service was well-led.

The service conducted spot checks and observations of staff undertaking their work.

People who used the service and staff told us they felt the service was well-led.

We saw team meetings and management meetings were undertaken to discuss work and concerns.