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Alina Homecare Specialist Care - Poole Good

We are carrying out a review of quality at Alina Homecare Specialist Care - Poole. We will publish a report when our review is complete. Find out more about our inspection reports.

Inspection Summary


Overall summary & rating

Good

Updated 19 January 2018

This comprehensive inspection took place between 17 and 24 October 2017, in response to information of concern. CQC was aware there had been a recent large-scale safeguarding enquiry overseen by a local authority. There had been a number of allegations relating to short staffing and people not receiving the care they needed. The bulk of these concerns were not substantiated.

We gave notice a day ahead of the inspection to ensure the people we needed to speak with would be available. When we last inspected the service in September 2016, it was Good overall and in all domains except Caring, which was Requires Improvement. There were no breaches of the Regulations.

Alina Homecare Specialist Care was previously known as The Care Division – Poole. This service provides care and support to people living in a number of ‘supported living’ settings, so they can live in their own home as independently as possible. People’s care and housing are provided under separate contractual agreements. CQC does not regulate premises used for supported living; this inspection looked at people’s personal care and support. The service is also a domiciliary care agency. It provides personal care to people living in their own houses and flats in the community. Its supported living and domiciliary care services are provided to people with a learning disability, across Poole, Bournemouth, Eastern Dorset and South West Hampshire.

Not everyone using Alina Homecare Specialist Care receives regulated activity. 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.

Under its conditions of registration the service is required to have a registered manager. The registered manager had left the service in September 2017. Their replacement was already in post and had applied to register as manager, as had their line manager. 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.

There had been changes in the management team over the past year. Staff said the new manager seemed experienced, knowledgeable and supportive, and were hopeful that things would change for the better. However, the new manager had only very recently joined the service; hence the improved confidence in management was not embedded or sustained. We will review the positive impact of the manager at our next inspection.

Staffing levels had presented a challenge over the summer, as staff had left and there had been issues with the approval of annual leave that meant more staff were off work than should have been. Some staff reported that they or colleagues worked long hours. The managers had recognised staffing pressures and had a plan in place to address recruitment and retention.

Staff morale had been low in recent months. Staff were fearful that colleagues would leave. Some staff told us that recently there had been a better atmosphere at the office and that communication with the office-based staff and management team had improved. However, the improved morale and communication was a recent development and it was too early to say whether it was embedded and sustained. We will review this at our next inspection.

Staff were supposed to have regular supervision meetings to discuss their work and any issues it presented. The managers were aware these had fallen behind owing to staffing pressures and supervisory staff having to cover gaps in rotas. However, a strategy was in place to address this.

Checks were made to ensure new staff were of good character and suitable for their role. Staff had core training at induction in topics such as safeguarding, movin

Inspection areas

Safe

Good

Updated 19 January 2018

The service was safe.

Staff had an awareness and understanding of potential abuse. They understood how to report concerns about abuse.

Senior managers were taking action to ensure there were enough staff on duty to provide the care people needed.

Medicines were managed safely.

Effective

Good

Updated 19 January 2018

The service was effective.

Staff were supported through training and supervision to develop and maintain the skills they needed to provide people�s care and support.

Staff obtained people�s consent to their care. Where people were unable to give consent, the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 were followed.

Relevant health and social care professionals were involved with people�s care, and care plans addressed people�s health needs.

Caring

Good

Updated 19 January 2018

The service was caring.

People received care and support from staff who knew and understood them, including the way they communicated.

Staff treated people with dignity and respect.

Responsive

Good

Updated 19 January 2018

The service was responsive.

People received personalised care and support. Their independence was promoted as far as possible.

People were supported to follow hobbies and interests and to take part in community-based activities.

Concerns and complaints were taken seriously.

Well-led

Requires improvement

Updated 19 January 2018

The service was not always well led.

Staff morale had been low, but was just beginning to improve. Staff had not always felt confident to raise concerns with the service�s managers, although they were hopeful that the new manager would be responsive.

Quality assurance systems were in operation.