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Archived: SENSE - Community Services (South West) Requires improvement

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

Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating

Requires improvement

Updated 28 September 2016

The inspection was announced. We gave the operations manager 48 hours notice of our visit because we needed to ensure key staff were available. SENSE – Community Services (South West) is registered to provide the regulated activity of personal care in order to deliver services to people in their own homes. The service supported both adults and children and provided two types of service. They provided a Communicator Guide Service for people with a dual sensory loss and an Intervenor Service for congenitally deafblind children, adults and their families. At the time of the inspection those people who were in receipt of a communicator guide service were not receiving a personal care service. Therefore their support does not come within the remit of the registered service. At the time of our inspection there were three children and their families being supported by the intervenor service. The staff who provide this service are called Intervenors.

The previous registered manager left their post at the end of June 2016. SENSE had already appointed a new manager who is due to commence on 1 September 2016 and will submit their application for registration. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the Care Quality Commission to manage the service and has the legal responsibility for meeting the requirements of the law; as does the provider. The operations manager was available for the inspection and knew the service well.

Records of risk assessments and care plans had not been prepared for the children supported however the intervenors who supported them were fully aware of the care and support to be provided and the safe way to do this. Individual assessments and supports plans had not been completed by the service for all of the children.

The operations manager and the intervenors were aware of their responsibilities to protect the children they worked with from coming to harm. They knew how to raise and report any concerns they had about their safety and welfare. The intervenors received safeguarding adult and child protection training. There were safe recruitment procedures in place to ensure that unsuitable staff could not be employed by the service. Intervenors had minimal involvement with childrens medicines however where they did administer medicines, they had received the relevant training and were competent.

Children and their families received the level of care and support that met their specific needs and were supported by one intervenor. The intervenors were well trained and had the specific skills to enable them to establish new communication methods with the child. The intervenors worked with the families and other health and social care professionals to ensure there was a consistent approach in communication methods to enable the child to reach their full potential.

Intervenors would support children with eating and drinking were this was agreed. They did not prepare food but were aware of any preferences and dislikes of food. The intervenors would follow safe guidelines where there was a risk of choking whilst eating. The intervenors would refer to the parents when they had concerns about a childs health, would liaise with health and social care professionals and attend meetings as necessary.

The intervenors had good relationships with the children and the families they supported. The intervenors were kind, caring and living towards the children. The families and the child were kept at the centre of all decision making about the service and encouraged to express their views and opinions. They were listened to and any decisions made were with their full agreement.

The service was well led. The registered manager had recently left their post but a new manager had been appointed and was starting with the service on 1 September 2016. The operations manager was currently providing good leadership and will continue to support the new manager when they are in post.

Inspection areas


Requires improvement

Updated 28 September 2016

The service may not be fully safe.

Children were safe but any risks to them and the staff were not assessed adequately so management plans could be put in place to reduce or lessen the risk.

The staff team were aware of their responsibilities to protect children and to report any concerns they may have. Staff recruitment procedures were safe and ensured only suitable staff were employed.

Children and their families were not supported by the service unless there were sufficient staff available to meet their specific needs. The involvement of staff with childrens� medicines was minimal but safely managed.



Updated 28 September 2016

The service was effective.

The children were looked after by staff who had the necessary skills to meet their needs. The intervenors were well trained and supported to do their jobs.

Where the children were assessed to have support with eating and drinking, the intervenors had the necessary skills to meet their specific needs. The intervenors would liaise with health and social care services as necessary in order to maintain the good health of the child.



Updated 28 September 2016

The service was caring.

The children and their families were treated with kindness and respect. They were at ease with the intervenor staff and there were good working relationships established.

Childrens choices and preferences were taken account of and the family were actively involved in making decisions about their care.


Requires improvement

Updated 28 September 2016

The service was responsive.

Individual assessments and support plans were not adequate.

Children and their families received the care and support as agreed. Their needs were kept under review and the service worked alongside other care agencies involved. Families were fully included in making decisions about the service provided.

Families were listened to and felt any comments or complaints they had would be acted upon appropriately.



Updated 28 September 2016

The service was well-led.

Children and their families received a service that was well managed. New leadership arrangements had recently been put in place and a service improvement plan had been implemented.

Children and their families were kept at the centre of decisions made about the service and their views were valued.

There were quality assurance procedures in place to assess and monitor the service and ensure it met the legal requirements.