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Archived: Totnes Domiciliary Care Service (South Devon Support Service)

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All reports

Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 19 May 2011
Date of Publication: 7 July 2011
Inspection Report published 7 July 2011 PDF | 88.17 KB

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 reviewed all the information we hold about this provider, carried out a visit on 19/05/2011, observed how people were being cared for, talked to staff, reviewed information from stakeholders and talked to people who use services.

Our judgement

People are receiving the right amount of commissioned care and support staff are supporting and caring for people safely.

User experience

When we visited the agency’s registered office at Dartington on 19 May 2011 we saw the newly developed rota plan to manage the allocation of support hours for the people living at the scheme in Plymouth by the Mencap support workers. All the support provided was on a one staff to one person basis. The new plan of allocation meets the needs of people with high physical needs and risks.

The supported living scheme building in Plymouth is partially physically divided into two parts, one providing accommodation for four people and the other accommodation for potentially five people. We were told that for the purposes of staff support the people that lived there were regarded as one group of eight people at present with one Mencap support worker team of 16 support staff to meet their needs. We discussed the support allocation plan and it was agreed that due to this single group approach, combined with the one staff to one person support nature of supported living, that the allocation plan in use at the Plymouth scheme was highly complex.

Another registered domiciliary care agency has been commissioned to provide all the night time support hours and seven hours per week of ‘tenancy support’ for seven of the eight people that live at the Plymouth scheme. The Mencap scheme managers and staff said there was a lack of clarity about what tasks each organisation’s staff were to carry out and take responsibility for, during the daytime.

We were told by both staff and managers at the Plymouth scheme that Mencap support workers were instructing the other agency’s support staff each day about what they should do when they arrived at the scheme.

It was unclear which documentation recorded that people at the Plymouth scheme were receiving all of their commissioned and allocated support hours. Without consistent recording of the beginning, and end, of support sessions it was not possible to compare the plan of support with what was actually being delivered by support staff.

We were told by managers and staff about a system of ‘banking’ peoples support hours. This meant that if a person that lived at the Plymouth scheme had, in the view of the staff, a more pressing need for support but was not being supported at that time, then it was legitimate for a support worker to leave the person they had been allocated to support in order to meet the needs of the other person. The hours lost by the person that should have been supported are then ‘banked’ for them to receive at some time in the future. There was no evidence to show if these banked hours were received by people at a future date.

We spoke with three members of staff and they said that they understood the new rota plan and that people were being supported at appropriate times to maintain their safety. They also said that the new scheme manager had introduced an effective rota plan. The staff we spoke with were knowledgeable about how to ensure the safety of people that lived at the scheme in Plymouth.

Other evidence

No other evidence was needed to make a judgement on this essential standard.