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Archived: Allied Healthcare - Plymouth

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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 4 November 2013
Date of Publication: 28 November 2013
Inspection Report published 28 November 2013 PDF | 84.16 KB

The service should have quality checking systems to manage risks and assure the health, welfare and safety of people who receive care (outcome 16)

Meeting this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Benefit from safe quality care, treatment and support, due to effective decision making and the management of risks to their health, welfare and safety.

How this check was done

We looked at the personal care or treatment records of people who use the service, carried out a visit on 4 November 2013, talked with people who use the service and talked with carers and / or family members. We talked with staff.

Our judgement

The provider had an effective system to regularly assess and monitor the quality of service that people receive.

Reasons for our judgement

We saw that the organisation had a comprehensive computer based information system that was used by each branch for the organisation and management of care arrangements. It was also used to audit a range of areas of care provision that included accidents, incidents, complaints and on-call contacts. Information about people supported by the organisation and staff employed was contained within the database. Various checks within the system ensured that all required information had to be completed before records could be closed. The system alerted when mandatory training was required, supervision and annual appraisals were due or the annual review of a person’s care plan was required. If any staff training was out of date the system blocked the allocation of the member of staff to work with a person.

The system included rostering software that helped to ensure consistency of staff allocated to work with a person. If there were any reasons that a member of staff and the person to be supported were not compatible the system would prevent allocation of the carer to that person. When it had been necessary to allocate a different carer to work with the person this was easily identified and the reason for the “unusual visit” could be established. This enabled the manager to audit the consistency of care provided.

Accidents and incidents were recorded on a paper form and then entered into the computer system. The computer system allowed for filtering of information and reports could be generated that helped to identify trends or common themes. Any concerns identified by carers or safeguarding incidents were recorded in the same way. Aggregated reports allowed for specific details to be obtained about a particular person or incident. Complaints were also recorded in the system and emails were sent from head office to alert the branch team if any concerns had been raised. There were clear timescales for the organisation to respond to complaints.

The manager told us that if any issues were highlighted about the care for a particular person, perhaps as a result of a number of specific incidents or concerns raised by care staff, a meeting was arranged for the team working with that person to look at learning from the incidents, consider options for care and ensure consistency of care. This showed that there were robust process in place to monitor care provided and action taken to learn from any concerns.

The manager told us that there were quarterly meetings that staff were expected to attend. A meeting was held in the morning and afternoon to make it easier for staff to be present. These meetings were used to discuss more general staff related issues, pick up on any areas of concern and give positive feedback. Staff were also reminded at these meetings to report any concerns that they had about care. One carer we spoke with told us that she had raised concerns about the quality of care she had seen. We spoke to the manager about this who informed us that this issue was being investigated. This showed that staff were aware of the importance of providing good quality care and that action was taken if concerns were raised.

One person we spoke with told us that they had some concerns when the organisation began working with them they told us “there was a time that someone didn’t come, this was very distracting. I raised concerns and they responded to my concerns”. Another person told us that they had “complained about a carer being late and this had not happened since”. This showed that people felt able to comment on the care they received and action was taken by the organisation in response to this.