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Inspection carried out on 1 July 2016

During a routine inspection

This inspection took place on 1 and 12 July 2016 and was unannounced.

One Community offers a range of services to the local authority but the part of the service which is regulated and inspected is known as the Care and Respite Service, or the Take a Break service. The service supports people, who may be older, disabled, have physical or mental health needs and who live with other people who care for them, known as “carers.” A “sitting” service enables carers to have a break for a few hours, on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. The main role of staff is to be with people who would be vulnerable if left alone, to ensure they are safe. Whilst spending time with people, they engage in conversation or activities, if the person wishes. Additionally, people sometimes require support with personal care, such as going to the bathroom. The service does not offer personal care as a stand-alone service. At the time of our inspection the service was provided to 29 people, but not all of these would have needed support with personal care.

The provider had a recruitment procedure which ensured relevant checks were completed before new staff started work. Staff and trustees had completed training with regard to safeguarding adults and staff described different types of abuse and what they would do if they suspected or witnessed anything of concern. People had risk assessments in place which identified potential risks and action to be taken to minimise the risks, for example, using equipment to support people moving from a chair to a bed. The service did not routinely support people with their medicines due to the short amount of time staff spent with people but staff had received training in medicines awareness and could prompt people to take their medicines if this formed part of the care plan.

Staff had received training in the Mental Capacity Act and talked about giving people choices in what they ate and drank, or whether they went out. Everyone had their needs assessed before they were offered a service, to ensure staff could meet their needs. The care co-ordinator visited people at home to complete the assessment so they could see them in their home environment. People and their family members received a service which was responsive to their needs.

The service had a registered manager, however, they had recently left the company and had applied to the commission to cancel their registration. 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. The provider advised us they were due to start the process of interviewing for the role. The provider did not return a Provider Information Return and we took this into account when we made the judgements in this report.

Staff were supported in their role through training which was useful and relevant as well as supervision. The provider ensured they kept up to date with best practice, which was then delivered to staff through training.

Due to the nature of the service, staff did not usually cook meals or provide meals for people as they lived with people who supported them to eat and drink enough, but did sometimes make a cup of tea or provide a meal the carer had prepared. People did not routinely need support from staff regarding their health care but staff were aware of people’s needs.

People benefitted from positive caring relationships with staff who spent time with them. Staff were not employed to undertake personal care but sometimes people needed support as part of the sitting service. Staff knew how to respect people’s privacy and dignity in this regard.

The provider had a complaints procedure in place which was given to people when the service started to support them.

The service promoted a positive culture which was open and inclusive. Feedback was sought from people and their carers and the provider sent staff a quality assurance survey every two years.

Inspection carried out on 2 January 2014

During a routine inspection

There were two people who received personal care from the service at the time of our inspection. We spoke with two people who use the service, or their relatives and two support workers. We reviewed two support plans and two staff files.

Two people who use the service said they were asked for their consent before care was given. One person said that their relative looked forward to the visits and was happily gave consent.

People were positive about the care they received. One person said “The care staff are lovely, very supportive, like family” and another said “It’s all good.”

Appropriate checks were undertaken before staff began work. We saw a recruitment policy and the human resources administrator described the checks she carried out prior to recruitment to a role.

As part of the regular review of support plans people who use the service, or their relatives, were asked for their views about the service. We saw this documented within the support plans. This meant that people who use the service were regularly asked for their opinion about the service and suggestions for improvement.

Inspection carried out on 25 January 2013

During a routine inspection

During our visit we looked at records and spoke to people. People who used the service were very positive about the care they received and said they were treated with respect and were given choices. One person told us "whatever our carer does for us, they do it well". We were told that people felt safe and "comfortable" with their carers and looked forward to their visits.

The agency had policies and procedures in place that ensured people's needs and wishes were assessed and recorded prior to them receiving care.

People's needs were recorded in a plan of care that was kept under review. Risks to people's safety were assessed and plans to reduce and monitor risks to both people using the service and staff were recorded.

We saw that the agency carried out an appropriate staff recruitment process and staff received training and support suitable to their role.

There were processes in place to monitor accidents and incidents and the quality of service being provided. People using the service and their families were involved through annual questionnaires and spot checks.