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Archived: Help for Carers Good

Inspection Summary


Overall summary & rating

Good

Updated 15 April 2016

This inspection took place on 22 March 2016 and was announced. The last Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection was carried out in January 2015. At that time we gave the service an overall rating of ‘requires improvement’. This was because some aspects of the way medicines were managed were not as safe as they should be and the quality of records maintained by the service was inconsistent.

South Thames Crossroads, which is a registered charity, provides support to approximately 500 carers living in the London Boroughs of Merton, Wandsworth, Sutton, Lambeth and Croydon. Staff employed by the organisation provide short respite breaks for carers by taking over the care and support tasks for people or children they care for. The breaks can be anywhere between a few hours a week or over a number of days. Approximately 80 adults and 60 children, with a wide range of health care needs and conditions, receive help with personal care and support from this service. The majority of people receiving this support were funded by their local authority but some people also pay privately for support from the service.

The service had a registered manager in post. 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.

At this inspection we found significant improvements had been made in the way medicines were managed and in the way important information about people, and other records relating to the service, were maintained. People received their medicines as prescribed. Improvements had been made in the way staff maintained records each time they supported people with their medicines. There was appropriate guidance for staff to follow to ensure people received their ‘as required’ (PRN) medicines when they needed this. We also found other records maintained by the service were accurate and contained up to date information. Measures were in place to ensure these were consistently maintained to a good standard.

People and their carers told us they felt safe with the support provided by the service. Staff had been provided with the information and support they needed to take appropriate action to ensure people were protected if they suspected they were at risk of abuse and not harmed by discriminatory behaviour or practices. Risks to people’s health, safety and wellbeing had been assessed by senior staff. Plans were put in place which instructed staff on how to minimise any identified risks to keep people safe from harm or injury.

The provider ensured people were supported by staff that were suitable and fit to work for the service. They carried out employment and criminal records checks on all staff. The majority of people told us they had no concerns about staff turning up late or missing a scheduled visit. This indicated there were sufficient numbers of staff available to support people. Staffing levels were monitored by senior staff to ensure people’s needs could be met at all times.

Staff received relevant training to meet people’s needs. Senior staff monitored training to ensure staff skills and knowledge were kept up to date. Staff received supervision so that they were appropriately supported in their roles to care for people. Staff were provided opportunities to share their views about the quality of support people experienced and for their suggestions about how the service could be improved.

People and their carers told us their views were taken into account when staff assessed their care and support needs. Each person had a care plan which was reflective of their specific needs and preferences for how they wished to be cared for and supported. People and their carers said staff were able to meet their needs. Senior staff reviewed people’s care pl

Inspection areas

Safe

Good

Updated 15 April 2016

The service was safe. People received their medicines as prescribed. Improvements had been made in the way staff maintained records each time they supported people with their medicines. There was appropriate guidance for staff to follow to ensure people received their �as required� (PRN) medicines when they needed this.

Staff were supported to identify and take appropriate action to protect people and children from the risk of abuse or from harm that could be caused by discriminatory behaviour or working practices.

Risks to people of injury or harm had been assessed and plans were put in place that instructed staff on how to ensure these were minimised.

The provider carried out appropriate checks to ensure staff were suitable and fit to work for the service. There were sufficient numbers of staff to meet people�s needs.

Effective

Good

Updated 15 April 2016

The service was effective. Staff received training to support them to meet people�s needs. They were supported by senior staff through a programme of supervision.

The service was working within the principles of the MCA. Staff were aware of their responsibilities in relation to the Act. Where people lacked capacity to make specific decisions there was involvement of others to make decisions in people�s best interests.

People were supported to stay healthy and well. Staff monitored people ate and drank sufficient amounts and their general health and wellbeing. They reported any concerns they had about this so that appropriate support was sought.

Caring

Good

Updated 15 April 2016

The service was caring. People said staff were kind, caring and respectful. The provider had clear goals and objectives about what people and their carers should expect from staff and the service in terms of service standards and conduct.

They had arrangements in place to ensure all people, including hard reach communities, could access information, advice and support for carers and their family members.

Staff ensured people�s right to privacy and dignity was maintained, particularly when receiving personal care. They supported people to do as much as they could for themselves to retain control and independence over their lives.

Responsive

Good

Updated 15 April 2016

The service was responsive. People and their carers were involved in discussions and decisions about their care and support needs. People�s support plans reflected their choices and preferences for how this was provided. These were reviewed regularly by staff.

Where the service was responsible for this, staff supported people to engage in activities to promote their overall wellbeing and reduce the risks to them from social isolation.

The majority of people were satisfied with the care and support received. People knew how to make a complaint about the service. The provider had arrangements in place to deal with people's concerns and complaints in an appropriate way.

Well-led

Good

Updated 15 April 2016

The service was well led. The views of people and staff were regularly sought about the service. Senior staff used this information along with other checks to assess and review the quality of service people experienced.

People, staff and others had been consulted and engaged in the changes the service needed to make in order to continuously improve. The provider was proactive in making improvements where these were needed.

There was regular communication from the senior staff team to people and their carers keeping them updated and informed about the service.

Records were accurate and contained up to date information. Measures were in place to ensure these were consistently maintained to a good standard.