An adult social care inspector carried out this this inspection on 30 September 2014. The focus of the inspection was to answer five key questions: is the service safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led?
As part of this inspection we spoke with nine people who used the agency, three relatives, the manager, provider, three office based staff, five members of care staff and three healthcare professionals who had contact with the agency. We reviewed records relating to the management of the service which included: six care plans, daily records, medication records, staff recruitment and training records and quality assurance monitoring records.
Below is a summary of what we found. The summary describes what people who used the agency, their relatives and the staff told us, what we observed and the records we looked at.
Is the service caring?
The agency provided care and support for people living in their own homes. People told us that they received kind and respectful support from care staff and felt able to make choices and changes to their care when necessary. Relatives that we spoke with were positive about the care and support provided to their family member. Care staff told us that they were supported and supervised so that they could provide safe care and support to people. Courtesy calls were made to people using the agency and their relatives to discuss any care and support issues.
Is the service responsive?
We saw that people's personal care and support needs were assessed and generally met. This also included people's individual choices and preferences as to how they wanted their care to be provided. People we spoke with told us that they had been able to make changes to their care and support needs. Relatives that we spoke with also confirmed that they had been involved where changes to care had been made. However, it was evident that care plans were not in detail to provide specific guidelines for staff during each care visit..
Is the service safe?
Staff told us that care planning documentation had not always been in sufficient detail to provide them with information so that they could safely provide support to people.
Detailed risk assessments regarding people's individual needs were not carried out and measures were not in place to minimise any identified hazards. Recruitment procedures were not effective in ensuring that only appropriate people were employed. We did see that the provider was taking appropriate action to ensure that all care workers had received safeguarding training to ensure peoples' safety. There were arrangements in place to ensure that staff were trained and supervised so that they could safely provide care and support to people.
Is the service effective?
We found that care workers were knowledgeable about people's individual care and support needs. People who used the agency that we spoke with, and their relatives, confirmed that care staff provided them with good care and support and were keen to address any concerns or issues. The manager confirmed that reviews of care and support were in place to meet people's changing/ assessed needs.
Is the service well led?
Staff that we spoke with told us that they were generally well supported by the management team so that they could safely provide care and support. People and their relatives that we spoke with told us that they felt they were listened to and that support was consistently and safely provided. However, effective quality assurance systems were not in place to audit the care and services provided. Surveys were due to be carried out to gather opinions from people who used the agency and members of staff. The manager and care staff were in regular contact with people and their relatives to respond to their concerns or queries