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Essential Care and Support Ltd Good

Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 1 May 2018

We undertook an announced inspection of Essential Care and Support Limited on 24, 25 January and 1 February 2018. The provider was given 48 hours’ notice of our visit. We wanted to be sure there would be someone at the office to meet us.

Essential Care and Support Limited is a domiciliary care agency based in Seaham, County Durham. It provides personal care and support to people living in their own homes or in small groups, referred to as an independent supported living scheme. Different levels of support are provided over the 24 hour period dependent upon people’s requirements. Many of the people are tenants of their home and pay rent for their accommodation which is leased from housing associations.

At the time of our inspection the service provided personal care to 95 people, the majority of whom required help to maintain their independence at home. CQC only inspects the service being received by people provided with personal care; help with tasks related to personal hygiene and eating. Where they do we also take into account any wider social care provided.

The service had a registered manager. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) 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.

Essential Care and Support Limited was last inspected by CQC on 22 October 2015 and was rated Good. At this inspection we found the evidence continued to support the rating of ‘Good’ and there was no evidence or information from our inspection and ongoing monitoring that demonstrated serious risk or concerns. This inspection report is written in a shorter format because our overall rating of the service has not changed since our last inspection.

People who used the service told us they felt safe. Relatives and external professionals expressed no concerns regarding safety.

The registered manager understood their responsibilities with regard to safeguarding. Staff had received training in prevention of abuse and were knowledgeable in recognising signs of potential abuse and the relevant reporting procedures.

Accidents and incidents were appropriately recorded and risk assessments relating to the environment and the delivery of care were in place.

The provider had an effective recruitment and selection procedure in place and carried out relevant checks when they employed staff.

Appropriate arrangements were in place for the safe management and administration of medicines.

There were appropriate numbers of staff employed to meet people’s needs and provide a flexible service. Staff were able to accommodate last minute changes to appointments as requested by the people who used the service.

People who used the service, relatives and external professionals were extremely complimentary about the standard of care provided by Essential Care and Support Limited. Staff treated people with dignity and respect and helped to maintain people’s independence by encouraging them to care for themselves where possible.

People who used the service received effective care and support from well trained and well supported staff. New staff completed a thorough induction into the service and mandatory training was up to date. Staff received regular supervision sessions and an annual appraisal.

Care and support plans were in place detailing how people wished to be supported and people were involved in making decisions about their care. The plans made good use of personal history and described individuals care, wellbeing and support needs. Staff knew the people they were supporting and provided a personalised service.

People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible. The policies and systems in the service supported this practice.

The service demonstrated innovative practice with assistive technology which enabled people to gain more independence.

People were supported with their dietary needs and to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. People who used the service had access to healthcare services and were supported with their health care needs.

The service had a positive culture that was extremely person centred, open and inclusive. Staff felt supported by the provider and the management team, and were comfortable raising any concerns.

People were empowered to voice their views and feedback regarding the management of the service.

The registered manager showed us records confirming regular checks and audits were carried out at the service. The provider was meeting legal requirements in relation to notifying the CQC of events.

The service had excellent links with the local community and organisations.

The provider had policies and procedures in place that provided staff with clear instructions. Records were kept securely and could be located when needed.

Inspection areas



Updated 1 May 2018

The service was safe and remained Good.



Updated 1 May 2018

The service was effective and remained Good.



Updated 1 May 2018

The service was caring and remained Good.



Updated 1 May 2018

The service was responsive and remained Good.



Updated 1 May 2018

The service was well-led and remained Good.