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

This service is now registered at a different address - see new profile


Inspection carried out on 4 September 2012

During a routine inspection

We (the Care Quality Commission) carried out a visit on 4 September 2012. We observed how people were being cared for and supported, looked at four care records and looked at other documents. We talked with three people who used the service and talked with five members of staff.

People told us they were happy with the care they received and were able to make choices about their lifestyle.

We found that people's needs were planned and delivered or supported in a way that helped to promote independence and ensure their safety. People were positive about the care they received. One person said "I am happy here. The staff help me if I need it but I am OK most of the time doing things on my own�.

We saw that comprehensive support plans and risk assessments were in place to help staff know how to promote independence but help keep people safe.

People spoken with said they felt safe living at the home. One person said they would speak to their favourite member of staff if they were unhappy or worried about anything.

People we spoke with told us they liked the staff that supported them.

Staff told us they felt supported at the home. Staff said the training within the organisation was very good and that they had access to mandatory and extra training. We saw that staff were supported through a programme of supervision and new staff had completed a formal induction programme.

The provider had systems in place to formally and informally monitor the service.

Inspection carried out on 19 May 2011

During an inspection to make sure that the improvements required had been made

The service supports people in supported living situations at two addresses in Totnes and one in Buckfast, South Devon, and also one in Plymouth. In addition the agency provides an outreach service to people living at other addresses in Plymouth.

Together the Totnes schemes support five people at present and the scheme at Buckfast has three tenants. The Plymouth scheme presently has eight tenants.

The people that use this support service have a variety of levels of need. Many of the people that use these services are highly dependant on the support given to them by the service both to meet their personal care needs and to enjoy a good quality of life. As the schemes are not registered care homes the people that live at these houses are not supported continuously by care staff unless the commissioners of the service specifically purchase such a service. All of the people that use the service receive allocated periods of time to be supported by individual support workers employed by Mencap. At the Plymouth scheme some support is provided to the people that live at the house by another provider, though Mencap provides the vast majority of the support time delivered to the people that live there.

When we spoke with people at the scheme in Plymouth they told us they were very happy living there and told us how much they liked and trusted their support staff. The staff we spoke with had a good understanding of people�s support needs and they were happy with the way they were being supported by the organisation�s management.

We also observed people being supported by the staff and we got information from the staff and management about people�s experience of living at this house. We saw smiles and expressions of happiness from people. For example we saw one lady enjoying the atmosphere and her meal in her kitchen dining area during her breakfast mealtime.

The staff made sure through their delivery of care and support, that people�s dignity and individual needs were respected and protected. For example we saw the support staff talking to people patiently and respectfully during our visit.

We looked at the assessments of people�s needs, their plans of care, and their individual risk assessments, both when we visited the agency�s registered office, and when we visited the scheme in Plymouth. Some of these assessments and plans for the people that lived there had not been well maintained. However our conversations with support staff and the management of the Plymouth scheme assured us that the staff were knowledgeable about peoples care needs and how to meet these needs. Therefore we believed that the people that live at this address were receiving adequate support and care to meet their needs.

We saw documentary evidence that showed us that the management has appropriately allocated staff to support people at the Plymouth scheme both to meet their assessed needs and to provide the number of hours of support that have been commissioned for them.

Overall we saw that the agency�s staff had been adequately trained to care safely for the people that use the service. However we found that the support workers providing care and support at the Plymouth scheme had not been receiving regular formal supervision to help them provide good quality support for the people that live there.

Most of the agency�s records were properly stored and well maintained. These were the records about the care needed by the people that lived at the three supported living schemes in Devon, and the support staff that provided this support. The record keeping practices for the records of care of the people that lived at the Plymouth scheme, and the staff that provided this care, were not maintained or stored to the same standard as those for the other schemes supported by the agency.

The provider organisation has adequate organisational monitoring systems and processes in place to monitor the quality of the service being delivered to the people that use this service. Our review took place six weeks after the death of a person that lived at the Plymouth scheme and we found that the provider had not acted promptly to identify and address potential issues at this scheme following this incident.