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SweetTree Home Care Services Outstanding

Inspection Summary


Overall summary & rating

Outstanding

Updated 12 January 2018

This inspection took place on 9 and 10 October 2017 and was announced. At the last inspection on 24 August 2015 we found the service was rated 'Good' in all key questions and overall. At this inspection, we found the service was Outstanding in the Responsive and Well-Led domains.

SweetTree is a domiciliary care agency which provides home and live in care across London. At the time of our inspection, the agency provided support to a range of people. These included elderly and people living with dementia, people with brain injuries and neurological conditions and people with learning disabilities. Each area of the service provision had its own specific care team led by a member of the management team.

At the time of our inspection there was no registered manager appointed. 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 and associated Regulations about how the service is run. The previous registered manager had left in September 2017 and the agency had planned to appoint three new managers for each area of the service provision. This was to ensure that section of the service would be managed by a skilled and experienced manager. Following the inspection, the Director on Operations informed us, that three new managers were appointed and they would be submitting their individual applications for registration with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Although there was no registered manager at the time of our inspection, the agency continued to deliver seamless and professional care. This was due to the senior management team, including both managing directors and respective service directors and managers, having an exceptional understanding of all the matters related to providing care to people who used the agency. Our conversations with members of the senior management team confirmed that they knew the service very well and they were able to manage it to the high standard. Therefore, we were reassured that the exceptional service would not be affected even if the registered manager was not in post at the time of our visit.

At the time of our inspection, SweetTree provided the registered activity of personal care to approximately 380 people and employed approximately 500 staff members including 64 members of the office team.

The agency was exceptionally well led. There was strong leadership at all levels. The senior management team had been actively involved in all aspects of service provision and had very good knowledge about the business needs of the service provided and the satisfaction level of people who used it. This had been achieved through a variety of robust quality monitoring systems. These included internal and external quality audits and quality questionnaires completed by staff, people who used the service and their relatives.

Staff told us they were well supported by the management team and they thought they could approach them with any issues related to their professional roles and responsibilities. The senior management team had recognised staff efforts and their positive contribution to the quality of the service. They had introduced “The Jairo Medina Award”, to honour the memory of an ex-employee who had tragically lost his life in August 2016. Monthly Sweet Awards, a staff good practice recognition rewards scheme, were presented to staff to acknowledge positive feedback given to staff by people they supported and their family members.

There were a number of partnership initiatives. The aim was to continuously improve the positive experience of people who used the service and their families and increase awareness of the challenges and positive outcomes when working with people who need the support of others. This included the development of a National Dementia Carers Day in partne

Inspection areas

Safe

Good

Updated 12 January 2018

The service was safe

The agency had systems in place to help protect people from harm and abuse and people told us they felt safe with staff who supported them.

Risks to people�s health and wellbeing had been assessed and staff had sufficient guidelines to manage and minimise identified risks. The agency had taken action to minimise the risk of any accidents and incidents.

A robust recruitment procedure followed by the agency ensured there were sufficient staff deployed to meet people�s needs.

The agency had policies and procedures to ensure people received their medicines in a safe way and as prescribed.

Effective

Good

Updated 12 January 2018

The service was effective.

The agency had their own training academy that provided staff with sufficient training to enable them to meet people�s care needs.

Staff received regular support to help them to have the skills and knowledge required for their role.

The agency was working within the principles of the MCA and care had been planned in the best interests of people who used the service.

Staff supported people in maintaining a healthy diet and good health and in having access to healthcare professionals when required.

Caring

Good

Updated 12 January 2018

The service was caring.

Staff were kind and caring and people told us they were happy with the staff who supported them.

Staff supported people to be as independent as they could, to have more self�confidence and do more for themselves.

Staff and people were matched based on certain attributes therefore positive caring relationships between staff and people had been developed.

Staff respected people�s privacy and dignity at all times and people said they felt comfortable with staff when receiving personal care.

Responsive

Outstanding

Updated 12 January 2018

The service exceptionally responsive

Care and support provided was meeting people�s assessed needs. People�s care plans consisted of comprehensive guidelines for staff on how to support people according to their wishes and preferences.

Staff went extra mile to support people in accessing their hobbies and meaningful activities in the community.

The agency had recognized the impact of a person�s complex care needs on the whole family and therefore they had provided the support to people as well as their family members.

The agency had dealt promptly with people�s concerns and complaints and lessons were learnt to

Well-led

Outstanding

Updated 12 January 2018

The service was exceptionally well led.

There was not registered manager and the agency was in the process of recruiting three new managers to lead on specific aspects of the service. The existing senior management team ensured seamless and professional service delivery that was not affected by the absence of the registered manager.

People and their relatives repeatedly described the agency as well managed and they felt in charge of the support provided to them.

There was a very strong leadership at all levels. Senior management had been actively involved in all aspects of the service provision and had very good knowledge about the needs of the business and the satisfaction level of people who used it.

Staff were supported by their managers and staff contribution had been acknowledged through staff awards and recognition initiatives.

There were robust quality and people�s satisfaction monitoring systems in place therefore care provided was always of a high standard, effective and responsive to needs of people who used the service.

The agency had been involved in a variety of partnership initiatives ensuring continuous improvement of the positive experience of people who used the service. This had been recognised through various awards received by the agency since our last inspection.