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Inspection carried out on 2 November 2017

During a routine inspection

Alina Homecare was registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in February 2014 as a domiciliary care agency. It provides personal care to a range of older adults and younger adults living in their own houses and flats in the community. These included people living with dementia, a mental health illness, a physical disability, a learning disability, people with substance misuse, sensory impairment or an eating disorder. The service was also registered to provide care for children from 0-18 years; although at the time of inspection no children were receiving a service.

At the last inspection in March 2015, the service was rated as good in all five areas. The overall rating was good.

At this inspection, we found the service had improved and was now outstanding in two areas and good in three areas. The overall rating had improved to outstanding.

This comprehensive inspection took place on 2 November 2017 and was unannounced.

There were 130 people receiving a service from the agency. Although the majority of people using the agency received a regulated activity, some received support visits only. 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 time of visits ranged from 15 minutes to one and quarter hours, with the frequency of visits from once a week to four times a day. There were 17 people who required two care workers at each visit to support them. There were 65 full and part-time staff employed.

There was registered manager in post. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the 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.

The care people received was outstanding. Care workers treated people with respect, dignity and compassion. They were motivated, passionate and proud of their jobs. People said care workers went ‘the extra mile’ and the agency put people at the heart of their service. They went above and beyond what was expected of them when they needed to. There were many examples of when this happened and how the agency had dealt with emergency and unusual situations in a professional, exceptionally kind and responsive way.

People were at the heart of the service. Care workers knew what mattered to people the most. They recognised how important it was for families and friends to be involved in people’s care, support and wellbeing. Two people commented, “All the staff are good … I can’t speak more highly of them … they are very caring” and I have nothing but praise for them … they are so kind and polite to me … they are lovely girls, nothing is too much trouble for them.” Care workers recognised the importance of pets in people’s lives and regularly cared and looked after them as part of the family.

People were encouraged to be as independent as possible by care workers they trusted and felt safe with. They were supported to lead as good a quality of life as possible. People were never rushed and care workers took the time to support them in the right way. People commented, “I never feel rushed … they always make sure I’ve got everything I need before they go. They are more like friends, it’s as if we’ve known each other for years … they’d do anything for me” and “They’re lovely girls … I’m lucky to have them.”

Care workers treated people equally, irrespective of their beliefs, opinions or preferences. Meaningful relationships had been developed between people, their relatives and staff. People felt comfortable and trusted the care workers who came into their home. Caring for people’s wellbeing was an important part of the agencies philosophy. People had a regular team of care workers and felt they had become part

Inspection carried out on 9 March 2015

During a routine inspection

We inspected Alina Homecare on the 9 March 2015 and it was an announced inspection. Alina Homecare is a new organisation that has only been running just over a year. Within the past year, other branches of Alina Homecare have opened in the South East.

Alina Homecare (Brighton) is a domiciliary care agency providing personal care for a range of people living in their own homes. These included people living with dementia, older people, people with a physical disability, substance misuse and people with mental health needs. At the time of our inspection, the service was supporting up to 70 people and employed 30 members of staff.

A registered manager was in post. 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, relatives and staff spoke highly of the service. One person told us, “They are part of the family now.” Another person told us, “I have nothing but good words.” A relative told us, “I would recommend them to anyone.”

People told us they received their care calls consistently and always received the care they needed. Risks to people were assessed and monitored to ensure action was taken to avoid accidents and the deterioration of people’s health. The service had recruited a sufficient number of suitably qualified staff to meet people’s needs. Recruitment practice was robust and protected people from the risk of receiving support from staff who were unsuitable. People received the support they required with their medicines.

Staff received regular training and were knowledgeable about their roles and responsibilities. They had the skills, knowledge and experience required to support people with their care and support needs. Staff commented they felt valued and enjoyed working for Alina Homecare. The provider recognised staff’s on-going commitment and hard work.

The service was responsive to people’s individual needs. Staff were able to accommodate last minute changes to care calls or requests for urgent care calls. Staff regularly fed-back concerns to the registered manager and office staff. Where people’s health needs had deteriorated, the provider was able to increase people’s packages of care in a timely manner.

Staff knew how to support people and help maintain their safety. They understood their responsibility to protect people from harm and abuse and they felt able to report any concerns appropriately.

People confirmed staff respected their privacy and dignity. Staff had a firm understanding of respecting people within their own home and providing them with choice and control. The service had identified people’s needs and preferences in order to plan and deliver their care. People said the service met their needs and encouraged them to be as independent as possible. People were asked for their views of the service and said they knew how to make a complaint about the service if they needed to.

The ethos, values and visions of Alina Homecare was embedded into everyday care practice. The organisation had a strong vision on providing care calls which promoted people’s emotional needs and ensuring people received companionship throughout the day.

The provider was innovative and creative in how they enabled people to feel part of the organisation. Parties were held for people, their relatives and staff to attend. These enabled people to meet all members of staff, other people receiving care and to also promote socialisation and feel involved in the running of the organisation.