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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 6 January 2014
Date of Publication: 6 February 2014
Inspection Report published 06 February 2014 PDF

There should be enough members of staff to keep people safe and meet their health and welfare needs (outcome 13)

Meeting this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Are safe and their health and welfare needs are met by sufficient numbers of appropriate staff.

How this check was done

We looked at the personal care or treatment records of people who use the service, carried out a visit on 6 January 2014, observed how people were being cared for and sent a questionnaire to people who use the service. We talked with people who use the service, talked with staff and reviewed information given to us by the provider.

Our judgement

There were enough qualified, skilled and experienced staff to meet people’s needs.

Reasons for our judgement

One of the staff members we spoke with said they had been employed by the provider for 21 years and had NVQ qualifications at levels 2, 3 and 4. Another staff member we spoke with said they had no NVQ qualifications but had a total of nine and a half years care experience, and a third staff member said they had NVQ levels 2, 3 and 5, and a total of nine years care experience. We were given a list of staff who had completed NVQ level 2 or above and noted that thirteen out of thirty care staff had these qualifications.

The people we spoke with said they thought that generally speaking there were enough staff in the home to cater for their needs, but on occasions there had been staff shortages. They said that at night staff would check on them in their rooms every few hours. One person said that if they pressed the buzzer in their room staff would normally respond quickly.

Two of the staff members we spoke with said they thought there were enough staff to cover the service at all times. However, the third staff member said that they thought that there was a problem with staffing because the needs of the people who use the service had increased, even during the short time they had been in the home. They said that this meant staff were having to spend longer with some people and therefore this would put pressure on staff to complete their other tasks. They said they thought it would be helpful if there was an extra ‘floating’ staff member on duty. They also said they did not think the provider was quick to replace staff. All the staff we spoke with said that the provider had a policy of not employing agency staff and that if a staff member went off sick they would ask existing staff to cover. If this was not possible then the service would run short staffed. One of the staff members said that, “very rarely do we run short.”

From our observations during the day we saw no visible evidence of staff shortages. For example, at lunch time there appeared to be enough staff to assist people who needed support to get to the dining rooms and to help those who needed assistance with eating. Whilst we were sitting in one of the main lounge areas talking with people we noticed that there were always several members of staff walking around.

The manager explained the service’s shift system to us. They said that there were three shifts: a morning shift from 8am to 2pm, a late shift from 12.30pm to 8pm, and a night shift from 8pm to 8am. They said there were always at least eight staff on duty in the morning, which included one head of care staff or a senior, five staff in the afternoon, and five in the evening. At night there were three waking staff, including one senior. The manager showed us a copy of the provider’s current staff rota and we noted that all the shifts were covered in accordance with what the manager had told us regarding staffing numbers.

From our conversations with staff, our observations and our review of staffing information we were satisfied that there were adequate staffing numbers at all times. This meant that people who use the service could be confident they would always receive proper care and attention in a timely manner. However, the provider might find it useful to note that at least one staff member and some people who use the service felt that the home was short staffed on occasions.