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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 carried out on 16 August 2016

During a routine inspection

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.