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Archived: Able Support Ltd Good

Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 25 April 2016

This was an announced inspection, carried out on 9, 15 and 18 February 2016. ‘48 hours’ notice of the inspection was given because the registered manager is often out of the office supporting staff or providing care. We needed to be sure that they would be available in the office.

Able Support is a large domiciliary care agency based in St. Helens. It offers care and support to 450 people in their own homes including personal care. The agency has offices based in St. Helens and is registered as a supplier of services to St. Helens and Knowsley local authorities. They employ 150 support staff.

The last inspection of Able Support was carried out on 26 September 2014. This was a focused inspection following actions which needed to be taken by the provider to address areas of non-compliance. This was from an inspection carried out on 19 November 2013. We found that the service was meeting all the regulations that were assessed.

The service had a registered manager who had in post since April 2015. 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.

People’s needs were assessed and risk assessments were in place. People’s histories, wishes and preferences were not consistently reflected within their care plans. Daily records which were maintained for each person showed they had received the care and support stated in the care plan. Care plans were regularly reviewed. By not having a full life history and people’s wishes and preferences not being documented staff were left with insufficient information to fully meet people’s needs.

People had no concerns about their safety and the way they were treated by staff. There were systems in place to protect people from abuse which included training for staff and policies and procedures for staff to follow. Staff spoken with demonstrated a good understanding of what action needed to taken in the event of a person being at risk from harm. Recruitment practices helped ensure that only people suitable to work with vulnerable people were employed by the service. Recruitment of staff was thorough and safe which ensured people received support from staff who were fit and suitable for the job. People were supported by the right amount of suitably qualified staff.

People told us that the staff were very caring. They told us that they had a core team of staff going into their homes which was good because they got to know them as friends as well as carers. They told us that staff met their needs and had sufficient training to enable them to carry out their job.

People and their relatives told us that they were listened to by the staff and that they felt that staff were like family and that they could speak with them.

Staff were confident about dealing with emergency situations and they had details of people and services they could contact if they needed advice, guidance or support at any time of the day or night.

Staff received training and support to carry out their job and they were provided with opportunities to develop within their roles. Staff had their competencies checked and they had access to policies and procedures in relation to safe practice.

The Care Quality Commission is required by law to monitor the operation of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 and to report on what we find. We saw that policies and guidance were available to staff in relation to the MCA.

People had access to information about how to complain and they were confident about voicing any concerns they had. Complaints were taken seriously and dealt with in a timely way.

There were systems in place for assessing and monitoring the quality of the service. Staff carried out a range of checks on all aspects of the service. This included checks on documentation to make sure it was up to date and accurate and seeking people’s views about the service they received.

Inspection areas



Updated 25 April 2016

The service was safe

People felt safe and trusted the staff. Staff had received safeguarding training and the registered provider had procedures in place for safeguarding people.

There were sufficient staff to ensure that people received care and support from staff they were familiar with and who had been appropriately recruited.

There were good systems in place to ensure risks to people’s safety and wellbeing were identified and addressed.



Updated 25 April 2016

The service was effective.

Staff received training and supervision for their role which enabled them to support people safely and effectively.

Staff acted promptly to people’s changing needs and liaised with health and social care professionals as required.



Updated 25 April 2016

The service was caring.

People told us that staff were caring, kind and helpful.

People were treated with respect and the staff understood how to provide care in a dignified manner and respected people’s right to privacy.


Requires improvement

Updated 25 April 2016

The service was not always responsive.

Information within the care plans did not always reflect each person’s life history and their likes, dislikes and choices. This meant a person centred approach was not always followed.

People had been fully involved in the development and reviewing of their care plans and had agreed with the content.

People were provided with written information about how to make a complaint. People told us they thought any complaints would be properly investigated by the registered provider.



Updated 25 April 2016

The service was well led.

A registered manager was in post.

People who used the service and staff told us, the registered manager was approachable and available to speak with if they had any concerns.

People who used the service and relatives were regularly invited to give feedback on the service provided.