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Archived: Allied Healthcare Brent Improvements required

This service was previously registered at a different address - see old profile

Inspection Summary


Overall summary & rating

Improvements required

Updated 6 August 2014

Allied Healthcare Brent provides a domiciliary care service to people in their own homes, particularly older people and people with dementia. At the time of our visit, the service was providing personal care for approximately 300 people.

We spoke with 37 people using the service, and four relatives, as part of this inspection. Most people spoke highly of the agency and confirmed they would recommend the service to other people. Comments included, “They are really good. They always chat and show that they care when they are with me” and “The carers are ever so caring, I can’t fault them.” People spoke of dignified and individualised care being provided, and a number of people told us of being provided with a consistent team of care workers.

People were involved in making decisions about their care wherever possible. Detailed care plans were set up that reflected people’s individual needs and wishes, and guided staff on the care and support to be provided. Checks were made to ensure that people received punctual care visits that met their needs. People were supported to be independent where appropriate, and people were made to feel that they mattered.

The agency trained staff to help ensure that they had the right skills to meet people’s needs, and supervised established staff on a regular basis. Checks were made to ensure that new staff were of good character before allowing them to work in people’s homes.

People told us they could speak with the agency about any concern and were confident these would be addressed. We found the agency’s complaints systems to be effective.

The agency checked on people’s opinions of the service provided. Results of this were meaningfully used to improve the service that people received, both individually and across the agency.

The agency had an experienced registered manager in post. The provider had effective quality assurance systems to identify service shortfalls and take action to make improvements.

However, we could not be assured of the provider taking reasonable steps to ensure that people received safe care. There were three reasons for this. We were not assured that people were protected from breaches to their human rights, because the agency’s arrangements for obtaining and acting in accordance with the consent of service users or their legal representative were not robust.

We were not assured that the agency’s support of new staff members helped to provide a safe service to people. Some new care workers providing care in people’s homes had not received a timely monitoring visit from senior staff, and we found a case where one such care worker had missed visits to people.

We were also not assured that the agency promptly assessed new people’s needs and set up a plan of care, to help protect new people against the risk of unsafe or inappropriate care. We found recent cases where the assessment took place two to three weeks after care started being provided.

The problems we found breached three health and social care regulations. You can see what action we told the provider to take at the back of the full version of the report.

Inspection areas

Safe

Improvements required

Updated 6 August 2014

We found that people’s safety may have been put at risk, despite a number of systems set up to provide people with a safe service. The assessment, planning and delivery of support to people newly using the service did not always take place promptly, which may have resulted in people receiving unsafe care.

Staff could not demonstrate that they had an awareness and knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, which meant they may not have supported people to make choices and decisions where they no longer had capacity.

We also found that the support provided to new staff when working alone with people may not have enabled them to deliver care safely and to an appropriate standard.

Effective

No action required

Updated 6 August 2014

The service was effective because people had the agency kept people’s care needs under review and scheduled care worker to visit people in a punctual manner. The agency trained staff to help ensure that they had the right skills to meet people’s needs, and supervised established staff on a regular basis.

Caring

No action required

Updated 6 August 2014

The service was caring as staff had the right approach to the care and support of people and they were attentive to people’s individual needs. People had their privacy and dignity respected, and their independence was encouraged. People were made to feel that they mattered.

Responsive

No action required

Updated 6 August 2014

The service was responsive because people using the service were listened to and provided with a service that aimed to meet their individual needs. Most people received a consistent team of care workers which helped to meet their needs and develop trust in the service. People’s concerns and complaints were encouraged and considered. Changes were made to people’s care where complaints merited this.

Well-led

No action required

Updated 6 August 2014

The service was well-led because the provider had systems to identify service shortfalls and take action make improvements. This included through checking on people’s views of the service, quality checks by the agency on the effectiveness of their services, and audits by the provider’s quality team to make sure the agency met the provider’s standards.