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Archived: SSA Quality Care

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Inspection carried out on 15 July 2014

During an inspection in response to concerns

A single inspector carried out this inspection. The focus of the inspection was to follow up on concerns raised with the Care Quality Commission that some staff had recently been recruited from abroad and were unable to speak English. These concerns also alleged that staff had not had appropriate checks undertaken before they began work and had not received any training to undertake their roles safely.

We visited the service's office to check the records, systems and processes to ensure there was a robust recruitment and selection process in place and people were cared for, or supported by, suitably qualified, skilled and experienced staff. We gathered evidence against the outcomes we inspected to help answer one of our five key questions; Is the service safe?

Below is a summary of what we found. If you want to see the evidence supporting our summary please read our full report.

Is the service safe?

We looked at the personnel files of six staff recruited from abroad. We saw appropriate checks had been undertaken before staff began work. Each staff file contained a recent photograph, proof of identity, Disclosure and Barring checks (DBS) and references. Each staff member had completed an application form, which included a health questionnaire and a summary of previous experiences and qualifications. However, the provider had not gained a written explanation of any gaps in employment where this was evident.

Where English was not staffs' first spoken language, we saw written English tests had been sought and an initial interview had been undertaken over the Internet using a software application known as Skype. This was to ensure their language skills were appropriate to meet the needs of people using the service.

We saw documentation to show staff had been provided with an induction. The induction consisted of five days training which covered the organisation's mandatory subjects. This was then followed by shadowing more experienced carers until staff were competent and felt comfortable and confident to undertake their role alone. We saw documentation to show staffs competencies had been checked and assessed to ensure they provided the care and support safely and in line with the organisations procedures before they worked alone. This ensured people were cared for by staff who were supported to deliver care and treatment safely and to an appropriate standard.

We viewed the organisations staff training matrix which showed all staff were provided with regular refresher courses to ensure their skills and knowledge were kept up to date. We also noted staff were provided with the opportunity to undertake the national vocational qualification in Health and Social Care. This showed staff were provided with the opportunity to obtain further qualifications appropriate to the work they perform.

We looked at a selection of staff files and saw documentation within them which showed they were provided with regular supervisions which included observing their practice and an annual appraisal where they could discuss their work, any area of concern and any developmental needs. This showed staff were supported in their roles and provided with training opportunities to add to their personal development.

These findings demonstrated to us that the service was generally safe but the failure to gain a written explanation of any gaps in employment did not ensure a robust recruitment procedure was in place to protect people using the service.

Inspection carried out on 27 February 2014

During an inspection looking at part of the service

When we visited SSA Quality Care in July 2013, we found concerns with record keeping. We found examples where assessment forms were incomplete and did not provide a clear picture of the person's assessed needs. They did not detail what level of help they required assistance with and what they could do themselves. We saw some risk assessments in relation to the working environment and moving and handling but we saw inconsistencies in relation to other areas of care which had the potential of placing people's welfare and safety at risk. Documentation containing tick boxes were not always completed and the daily reports were brief and did not detail the care provided in a personalised manner. Further concerns were in relation to the recording of the visit times compared to those on the electronic monitoring system which suggested poor recording by staff.

During this visit we found the service had made some progress on monitoring people's daily records to ensure they were accurate and in line with their individual care plans, provided a detailed account of the care provided in a personalised manner and the times of the visits matched those on the electronic monitoring system. Where omissions or poor recording were evident, appropriate actions had been taken to address the concerns with staff. This was to ensure they were aware of the importance and their responsibility to record the care given accurately.

Inspection carried out on 12 July 2013

During a routine inspection

People told us someone from the agency had visited them to discuss and assess their care and support needs before they received a package of care. This was to ensure both parties could be confident their needs could be met appropriately. They said they were involved in the care planning and review process and their views taken into consideration. Care and treatment was planned and delivered in a way that was intended to ensure people's safety and welfare. However, records we viewed showed there was some inconsistency in relation to assessing risks and providing guidelines for staff to manage any such risks. Initial assessments of need were not always fully completed. Similarly the daily notes in which staff recorded the care and support given were very brief and impersonal.

Staff were provided with appropriate training to give them the knowledge and skills to undertake their roles competently. This included an induction where they worked alongside an experienced member of staff until they felt comfortable and were competent in undertaking their role alone. Staff we spoke with felt well supported and told us there was an open door policy, that they could approach the manager at any time if they had any concerns.

There was a complaints procedure in place to ensure people could raise any concerns they had. People told us they knew who to speak to if they had concerns.


Inspection carried out on 25 January 2013

During a routine inspection

People told us that someone from the service had visited and assessed their needs before they received a package of care and support.

We found people�s needs were assessed and their care and support was planned and delivered in line with their care plan. We saw that potential areas of risk had been identified in each person's care plan. Any risks in delivering the care and support had been discussed with people and measures had been put in place to minimise such risks. People's care plans and risk assessment were kept updated to make sure the information was still accurate for their situations.

Newly appointed staff were provided with an induction programme and shadowed experienced care workers until they felt comfortable and were competent in undertaking their role alone.

The service had a system in place to ensure people were protected against the risk of abuse. Staff we spoke with understood their duty of care and responsibilities in relation to safeguarding people from harm. People told us they felt safe with the staff who entered their homes to provide them with support and knew who to speak to if they had any concerns.

People said that they were satisfied with the standard of care and support provided and felt the staff understood their needs They said staff treated them as individuals, respected their views and choices and confirmed they were treated with respect and their dignity maintained.

Inspection carried out on 8 April 2011

During an inspection in response to concerns

People and their relatives told us that they were happy with the care and support that they received.

They said someone from the agency had visited them before a package of care was drawn up to determine what care and support was required.

People told us that they felt safe receiving a service from this agency. They said that if they had any concerns they would speak to the manager.

People were positive about the staff who provided their care and support. They said that they were kind, caring and attentive to their needs.

People told us the staff always arrived to provide their care even during poor weather conditions. They said the care staff generally arrived on time and in instances where they were running late the office contacted them wherever possible to let them know.

They told us that the care staff always did all the care detailed in their care plans before they left to go to their next visit.

They said the care was not rushed and that they were always treated with dignity and respect