The inspection took place on 22 March 2016 and was announced. This was the first inspection since the service changed legal entity in 2014.
Home Support Services provides personal care to people in the London borough of Havering and in some parts of Essex. On the day of our visit, there were over 150 people using the service, 129 of whom were partly or wholly funded by the local authority and 38 people were contributing towards their care using direct payments or a personal budget. Another two people’s care was funded by the NHS. They also provide an emergency weekend service for The London Borough of Havering, until the commissioning department finds a permanent provider to continue the care.
There were two registered managers in place. 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.
People told us that they felt safe and were happy with the staff that delivered their care. They told us that they were treated with dignity and respect. Care was assessed and planned with people and their families. Care plans were detailed and included people’s wishes, hopes and aspirations.
There were procedures in place to keep people safe. Staff were aware of the different types of abuse and told us that they would report any allegations of abuse to the registered manager, who in turn reported it to the local safeguarding team. Staff were aware of the procedure to take if a person did not respond to a call and if they found a person unresponsive. They told us they would stay with the person until an ambulance came.
Medicines were managed safely by staff who had been trained and were aware of the necessary precautions to take to ensure medicines were administered safely.
Risks to the environment, such as trip hazards and gas safety were completed when required to ensure that the environment was safe for people. Regular checks on equipment were made to ensure that it was safe to use.
Recruitment checks were completed before staff started employment in order to ensure that staff were qualified and suitable to work in a health and social care environment. However, disclosure and barring checks were not always refreshed once people were employed which was not in line with the service’s policy of refreshing them every three years.
Staff told us that they were satisfied with the training and support they received. This included a comprehensive induction when they first started and regular spot checks and supervisions to ensure any areas for development were discussed and a development plan agreed.
People were supported to eat sufficient amounts that met their individual, religious and cultural preferences. Staff were aware of people’s diverse needs and told us they always ensured people’s wishes were respected.
We reviewed complaints made and found they were investigated and resolved to people’s satisfaction where possible. People told us they were able to express their views without being victimised. People and staff were asked for their views regularly and any suggestions or comments made were taken into account where possible in order to improve people‘s experience.
Staff were aware of their roles and responsibilities and told us they were supported by the care coordinators and the registered manager. However, we had not received any notifications of incidents that affect the service as required by law. The management retrospectively notified us of safeguarding incidents which had already been dealt with by the local safeguarding team.
We found one breach of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 and another breach of the Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009. You can see what action we have told the provider to take at the back of the full version of this report.