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Harmony Home Aid Services Limited - Unit A2 Broomsleigh Business Park Good

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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 25 February 2013
Date of Publication: 21 March 2013
Inspection Report published 21 March 2013 PDF

People should get safe and appropriate care that meets their needs and supports their rights (outcome 4)

Meeting this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Experience effective, safe and appropriate care, treatment and support that meets their needs and protects their rights.

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 25 February 2013, checked how people were cared for at each stage of their treatment and care and talked with people who use the service. We talked with carers and / or family members, talked with staff, reviewed information we asked the provider to send to us and reviewed information sent to us by commissioners of services. We talked with commissioners of services and talked with other authorities.

Our judgement

People experienced care, treatment and support that met their needs and protected their rights.

Reasons for our judgement

We looked at care plans of four people who used the service. People’s needs were assessed and care and treatment was planned and delivered in line with their individual care plan. We found people who used the service were protected against the risk of receiving inappropriate care by the use of detailed assessments and care plans, describing how to reduce risks to people.

All four care plans we looked at had written guidance for staff to follow in order to protect people from risk. Some people required assistance with mobility. These needs were assessed, and provided for by the provision of suitable equipment to enable safe transfers. Care staff we spoke with had received training on moving people safely and in using specialist hoisting equipment.

The service employed a number of suitably skilled staff in the agency office to assess and plan the care arrangements for people requiring the service. This helped ensure that people received all the support required at the correct times. A care supervisor was assigned to each borough and took responsibility for keeping the person's care needs under review. Their role included monitoring visits and spot checks, this helped to ensure that people received the care they needed.

We saw that consistency was maintained in linking assessed needs to the care delivery so that people who used the service had their welfare and safety protected. A relative of a person with dementia told us of the reliability of the agency carers and that this had improved over a period of time. They found that the carers supporting their relative understood their needs and were careful to follow the agreed care arrangements and to keep to the correct routine. They said this helped their relative to have a structure in their life which assisted them.

We looked at examples of records completed by carers on visits to people's homes. Information recorded gave a clear indication of the individual's state of wellbeing and response to care and treatment. Relatives told us they found this daily recording beneficial as they could see from records how the person felt and if they received the food and fluids required.

The manager explained some of the additional monitoring processes introduced to promote stability and consistency in care and treatment to people in their own homes. He told us that calls to more than 40% of the people receiving the care were monitored electronically. This ensured that calls took place at the correct time and prevented people experiencing missed calls or delays when receiving care from two people.

We found the service used the information supplied by the social workers and from their own assessment documentation to develop appropriate care arrangements. For example a carer spoken with told us they were assigned to a person who spoke Russian, they found this worked well and that she could speak with the person and understand when they had concerns or were unwell.

There were arrangements in place to deal with foreseeable emergencies. People receiving a service had a health assessment with details of GP and district nurse and next of kin. We saw from records that communication by carers and the agency was good, relatives and the GP were alerted when the need arose. The service had an out of hours telephone contact which people were given in their information pack.

Staff were given clear guidance about key holding and access and how to gain entry to each person’s home to deliver the agreed service. Four care staff we spoke with told us of their response if there was no reply. Examples were given of them alerting relevant authorities when they were unable to gain entry. We saw that the agency maintained records of actions taken by care supervisors and that they notified relevant social services departments of the absence of the person receiving the service.

Records we looked at showed care plans were in place and based on an assessment of the individual’s needs, for example around pe