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Astra Care Services Limited

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

John Street Works, John Street, Brierfield, Nelson, BB9 5QN (01282) 697045

Provided and run by:
Astra Care Services Limited

Latest inspection summary

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Background to this inspection

Updated 2 May 2019

The inspection:

We carried out this inspection under Section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (the Act) as part of our regulatory functions. This inspection was planned to check whether the provider was meeting the legal requirements and regulations associated with the Act, to look at the overall quality of the service, and to provide a rating for the service under the Care Act 2014.

Inspection team:

The inspection was carried out by one inspector and two Experts by Experience. An Expert by Experience is a person who has personal experience of using or caring for an older person that uses this type of care service.

Service and service type:

The service is a domiciliary care agency. It provides personal care to people living in their own homes.

The service had a manager registered with the Care Quality Commission. This means that they and the provider are legally responsible for how the service is run and for the quality and safety of the care provided.

Notice of inspection:

The inspection was announced.

We gave the service 48 hours notice of the inspection visit to ensure that staff we needed to speak with would be around. We also needed the managers to gain consent from people and provide us with up to date contact lists, so that we could speak with service users, relatives, health professionals and support workers. The Experts by Experience contacted service users by telephone to gain their feedback on 8 April and the inspector emailed staff for their views on the service.

Inspection site visit activity started on 8 April 2019 and ended on 9 April 2019. We visited the office location on 8 and 9 April date to see the manager and office staff; and to review care records and policies and procedures.

What we did:

Before our inspection we reviewed all the information we held about the service and completed our planning tool. This included notifications that the provider had sent us. A notification is information about significant events which the provider needs to send to us by law. We also contacted the local authority and Healthwatch to seek their views about the service. Healthwatch is the independent national champion for people who use health and social care services.

During the inspection, we spoke with 19 people who received a service and six relatives. We spoke with the registered manager, the office manager, the quality assurance manager and contacted 15 staff members via email. We spoke with the registered manager, the office manager, the quality assurance manager and contacted 15 staff members via email. We looked at three people's care records. We also looked at a range of records relating to the running of the service, including training records, medicine administration monitoring, rotas, quality monitoring records, complaints, records of incidents and accidents, staff recruitment and policies and procedures.

Overall inspection


Updated 2 May 2019

About the service: Astracare is a domiciliary care service providing care and support to people in their own homes. At the time of the inspection there were 250 people using the service.

People’s experience of using this service:

The service met the characteristics of good in all five key questions. Therefore, our overall rating for this service is good.

People and their relatives told us they felt safe and were happy being supported by Astracare. The provider had effective safeguarding procedures. Staff had a good understanding of abuse and felt confident raising concerns.

Risks to people were managed in a way that kept them safe. We found both environmental and individual risk assessments provided guidance for staff to keep people safe.

The provider followed safe recruitment systems. People told us the staff were reliable and they did not have any missed calls.

Medicines were managed safely, and the senior staff made sure staff were competent to administer medicines.

Staff received training in infection control and followed procedures to reduce risks for people.

People had care plans in place. The quality assurance manager ensured people’s needs were reviewed regularly. People's health and wellbeing was documented and referrals to external professionals were made when necessary.

Staff told us they had an appropriate induction and had received appropriate training to confidently carry out their role.

Staff had appropriate knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act (2005). People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible; the policies and systems in the service supported this practice.

People told us the staff were caring. We saw numerous compliments about the nature of the staff. People were treated with dignity and respect.

Families knew who to speak to if they had a complaint and felt able to express concerns to staff.

Feedback from people who used the service and staff was that the service was well led. They told us the managers were approachable and were available to speak with.

The registered manager carried out audits and managed accidents and incidents appropriately. The registered manager and office manager worked well together to manage the service effectively.

Rating at last inspection: Good (November 2016)

Why we inspected: This inspection was part of our scheduled plan of visiting services to check the safety and quality of care people received.

Follow up: We will continue to monitor the service to ensure that people receive safe, compassionate, high quality care.

For more details, please see the full report which is on the CQC website at www.cqc.org.uk