You are here

Archived: Noah's Ark Children's Hospice Good

This service is now registered at a different address - see new profile


Inspection carried out on 6 December 2016

During a routine inspection

This inspection took place on 6 and 7 December 2016 and was announced. We last inspected this service on 4 December 2013 when it met all the regulations we looked at.

Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice is a charity that offers support to children and young people who have a life-limiting or life threatening illness. They operate in the five North London boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington, and also in Hertsmere, a borough council in Hertfordshire.

Noah’s Ark provides care for the children and young people affected by illness. This support is community based and is provided by a range of staff including family link workers, social workers, music drama and movement therapist, play workers and home support volunteers, through support groups such as sibling groups and parent groups. There are also over 70 care volunteers who support children in their own homes or through group activities. Overall 450 volunteers support Noah's Ark providing support for administration, retail and fundraising.

Noah’s Ark also offers specialist carers who are able to provide direct care to children and young people. They also employ paediatric nurses who support and train the specialist carers. This is the part of the service which is regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). At the time of the inspection they were providing specialist care to approximately 80 children and young people, whilst supporting an additional 150 children and young people with services not regulated by CQC, and a further 180 bereaved families.

Currently the service is community based. However, there are well progressed plans to continue raising funds and start building a hospice which will house the community teams and a small residential unit to provide end of life care for children and young people who might require this service.

Anyone in the community is able to refer themselves or any child or young person under the age of 19 to the service. Noah’s Ark can provide tailored care which includes medical, emotional and practical care. They provide an out of hours on-call service to families and their staff so they can be accessed in an emergency.

The service had a registered manager in post who was the Director of Care. 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 a legal responsibility for meeting the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act and associated Regulations about how the service is run.

Parents were positive about the support they received from Noah’s Ark, this was in terms of the direct support for their children and for the support provided to the entire family which alleviated pressure on them.

Staff were trained to provide end of life care to children and young people in line with their wishes and those of the family. The service was able to offer bereavement support to parents after the death of a child.

The provider completed a range of checks prior to recruitment of volunteers, staff and trustees to make sure they were suitable to work with children and young people. There were policies and procedures in place to make sure children and young people were kept safe. The service had a designated lead for safeguarding children at risk. Staff we spoke with knew what action they needed to take to ensure children and young people were protected from harm.

Staff received an induction programme and subsequently, dependent upon their role, extensive training. They were also encouraged to source training they felt they required and to remain registered with their professional body. Staff told us they received support from their peers and managers through a variety of informal and formal mechanisms.

The needs of children and young people were constantly reviewed and care provided on that basis. Health needs were reviewed by the provider including making sure children received

Inspection carried out on 4 December 2013

During a routine inspection

We spoke with three family carers and a healthcare professional as part of the inspection. They all fed back positively about the specialist care service provided. Family carers� comments included, �they�re a very reliable and top quality service who are a crucial part of us coping�, �they�re absolutely fantastic� and �if anything they work too hard.� We found that care and treatment was planned and delivered to children and their families in a way that was intended to ensure people's safety and welfare and meet children�s needs.

Family carers told us that managers and staff at the service listened to them and worked well with them. We found that the provider worked in co-operation with others including family carers and healthcare professionals. This helped to ensure that children�s health, safety and welfare was protected when more than one provider was involved in their care and treatment, or when they moved between different services.

People praised the capability of care workers and the management team. Comments included, �they�re very well trained� and �they�re brilliant with children.� We found that children were cared for by staff who were supported to deliver care and treatment safely and to an appropriate standard.

We also established that the provider had an effective system to regularly assess and monitor the quality of services received, and to identify, assess and manage risks to the health, safety and welfare of people using the service and others.

Inspection carried out on 9 July 2013

During an inspection to make sure that the improvements required had been made

We carried out this unannounced inspection to check whether the provider had addressed the compliance action arising from our last inspection of 4 January 2013. At that time, appropriate records in relation to children, staff members, and the management of the service, were not always maintained.

At this inspection, we found that matters had been addressed. We checked a number of records in the office, and found that they were accurate and fit for purpose. Documents about children such as care plans were securely kept and could be located promptly when needed. The manager had recently undertaken an audit of care records. Recommendations had been made to ensure further improvements on the standards of record keeping. This meant that children were protected from the risks of unsafe or inappropriate care and treatment because accurate and appropriate records were maintained.

Inspection carried out on 4 January 2013

During a routine inspection

We spoke with five parents of children who receive regulated services from the agency, and one involved healthcare professional. People were happy that care needs were met by the agency. �It�s a very user-centred, flexible service,� said one parent. �I don�t know how I coped before,� another parent told us. �I continue to get very positive feedback from the parents and carers about the service,� said the involved healthcare professional.

Everybody told us that people at the agency treated them with respect, and listened to and acted on their views and preferences. �It was a very comprehensive needs-assessment process,� said one parent of their initial contact with the agency. Most people felt that staff were suitably skilled and experienced. Parents felt safe using the agency's staff in their own homes. �I trust them,� said one parent. Everybody felt they could approach the agency if they had a question or concern about the service.

Our checks of care, user-involvement, safeguarding, staff recruitment and complaints systems found the service to be compliant in these areas. However, we found that appropriate records in relation to children, staff members, and the management of the regulated activities, were not always maintained at the agency�s office. This may put children at risk of unsafe or inappropriate care.

Inspection carried out on 29 September 2011

During a routine inspection

Parents spoke very positively to us about the standard of care provided. As one person said, �My daughter�s face lights up when she sees the carer arrive.� They explained how the care staff interacted at their daughter�s level and in a way their daughter responded well to.

People told us that their child�s needs were assessed by the organisation before care staff were provided. Parents were involved in this process. They also found the service to be flexible in care delivery.

Parents explained that whilst care staff initially lacked a degree of training around more complex care tasks, they learned fast and training needs were being addressed by the organisation. Parents told us that the organisation always took any concerns or issues they raised seriously.

Some parents felt that they were kept suitably informed by office staff. However, one person felt that senior staff should have been initiating some contact to both check on their views of the services provided and to keep them better informed.

One parent�s comments reasonably summed up people�s opinions on the services provided: �They�re very good, very helpful. I�m glad of the extra services. It�s filled a gap.�