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Archived: The Whitehouse

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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 16 March 2012
Date of Publication: 20 April 2012
Inspection Report published 20 April 2012 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

Our judgement

People who use services generally benefited from reliable staffing arrangements but some people were not confident that they would always receive the assistance they needed at night.

Overall, we found that The Whitehouse was meeting this essential standard, but to maintain this, we have suggested that some improvements are made.

User experience

People who use services said that at most times they were confident that staff would reliably provide them with the assistance and company they wanted.

One person said, 'Staff are really nice to us all. They'll always have a chat and help me and I like them all as people because they're genuinely kind'.

Staff slept in at night and could be contacted by people sounding the call bell system. We were told that people were informed about the arrangement before they moved in so that they knew that staff would not routinely check on their welfare at night. Some people voiced reservations about the arrangement. They said, 'I was told about there being no staff awake at night before I came in but I still don't like it. When I wake up at night I worry that if I needed something they might not hear the bell and I have to force myself to go back to sleep as soon as I can. I'd much prefer to have someone awake and checking on me in case I can't find the bell point' and 'I do worry about nights because the staff sleep in and they might not be able to hear if I needed them and what if something happened and I couldn't reach the bell. No, I'd prefer the staff to do regular checks on people at night to make sure we're all okay'.

Other evidence

During the day and the evening there were various staff on duty to provide care, to do cleaning and to work in the kitchen. The written roster showed that shifts were being filled reliably. There were generally effective cover arrangements for planned and unexpected absences although at the time of our visit one shift had not been filled.

A number of things contributed to people receiving consistent support. These included having handover sessions at the beginning and end of each shift. At these meetings staff reviewed each person's general wellbeing and as necessary planned for things such as providing additional care for someone who was unwell.

There was an informal work plan for each shift so that staff knew what they were expected to do. There were occasional staff meetings at which general issues to do with the running of the service were discussed.

Each member of staff had met regularly with the manager so that the quality of their work could be reviewed and so their training needs could be identified and met.