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Darlington Extra Care Services Good


Inspection carried out on 26 February 2018

During a routine inspection

This inspection took place on 26 February 2018 and was unannounced. This meant the provider and staff did not know we would be visiting.

This service provides care to people living in specialist ‘extra care’ housing. Extra care housing is purpose-built or adapted single household accommodation in a shared site or building. The accommodation is rented and is the occupant’s own home. People’s care and housing are provided under separate contractual agreements. CQC does not regulate premises used for extra care housing; this inspection looked at people’s personal care service.

Darlington Extra Care Services provides care to people living in their own flats within four extra care sites across Darlington. The service also provided a rapid response service to offer support to people for a 48 hour period on return from hospital or to prevent admission into hospital. On the day of our inspection there were 113 people using the service.

The service had a registered manager in place. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) 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.

We last inspected the service in January 2016 and rated the service as ‘Good.’ At this inspection we found the service remained ‘Good’ and met all the fundamental standards we inspected against.

People told us they felt safe with the staff from Darlington Extra Care Services. We saw that concerns were listened to and acted on straight away by the management team.

The registered manager and team leaders understood their responsibilities with regard to safeguarding and staff had received training in the protection of vulnerable adults.

The provider had an effective recruitment and selection procedure in place. Any staff absences were covered by the provider’s own permanent staff or bank employees. People who used the service and their family members said staff usually arrived on time and stayed for the agreed length of time.

Accidents and incidents had been appropriately recorded and risk assessments were in place for people who used the service and staff. The service demonstrated it learnt from accidents, incidents and safeguarding issues and shared this learning with the staff team to drive improvements.

There was a safe system in place for the management of medicines and medicines administration records were completed accurately.

Staff were suitably trained and training was arranged for any due refresher training. Staff received regular supervisions and appraisals.

The provider was working within the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA).

People were protected from the risk of poor nutrition and staff were aware of people’s nutritional needs. We saw that the management team and staff were committed to supporting people to remain in their own homes with support and worked with district nurses, G.P’s, occupational therapy, physiotherapists and other specialist services as and when needed.

People who used the service and family members we spoke with were complimentary about the standard of care provided by the staff at Darlington Extra Care Services. People said their privacy and dignity were respected and they enjoyed positive relationships with the care staff.

Care records showed that people’s needs were assessed before they started using the service and care plans were written in a person centred way.

People who used the service and family members were aware of how to make a complaint.

Staff told us they were supported by the registered manager and team leaders and were comfortable raising any concerns. People who used the service, family members and staff were regularly consulted about the quality of the service. People and family members told us the management and office staff were approachable.

The service had recently won an award in the Great British Care Awards for best regional care team and one of the team leaders had been awarded a home care front line leader award in 2017.

Inspection carried out on 18 & 21 January 2016

During a routine inspection

Darlington Extra Care provide assistance with personal care, bathing, meal preparation, supervision and assistance with medicines and support to attend social events within the individual schemes. The four housing schemes around Darlington all provide different numbers of flats within each site with 24 hour help for older people being available.

We carried out this unannounced inspection commencing on 18 January 2016. We spoke with staff via telephone on the 19 and 20 January and visited two of the sites and spoke with people using the service and staff on 21 January 2016.

We met with the registered manager who has been in post for over five years and was the registered manager with the previous organisation before Making Space took over the service. 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.

Currently team leaders were employed at all four of the service’s schemes around Darlington and they facilitated the day to day running of the extra care services and liaised with the housing registered provider if needed.

People we spoke with who received personal care felt the staff were knowledgeable, skilled and the care package met their needs. Staff knew the people they were supporting well. People who used the service seemed comfortable with the members of staff who were supporting them. Staff told us people received good care and support.

Staff undertook the management of medicines safely. There were procedures in place to support staff and staff we spoke with told us they were trained and felt confident in medicines management.

People told us they felt confident that should concerns be raised these would be dealt with appropriately. People told us they could contact the manager or staff at the service if they needed to discuss anything. People said they had the opportunity to talk about their opinions of the service during reviews.

The manager and staff we spoke with told us they had attended training in the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005. MCA is legislation to protect and empower people who may not be able to make their own decisions, particularly about their health care, welfare or finances.

Records we saw confirmed Darlington Extra Care had effective recruitment and selection policies in place which ensured staff members were of good character and had the required skills to perform their work.

Staff we spoke with told us they felt supported and they spoke highly of the training provided by the service. We saw that meetings with staff both individually and collectively were positive and well recorded.

We saw care plans and risk assessments were developed with the person and staff were able to show us that they were clear and easy to follow.

There was a robust quality assurance process carried out by the service and registered provider as well as close monitoring of accidents and incidents. We saw the service had responded to any learning and improvements it needed to make to its service.