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Unique Senior Care - Briar Croft

The Care Offce, Briar Croft, Alcester Road, Stratford-upon-avon, CV37 6PH (01789) 330226

Provided and run by:
Understanding Care (Extra Care) Limited

Important: The provider of this service changed - see old profile

Inspection summaries and ratings from previous provider

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Background to this inspection

Updated 18 April 2018

We carried out this inspection under Section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 as part of our regulatory functions. This inspection checked whether the provider is meeting the legal requirements and regulations associated with the Health and Social Care Act 2008, to look at the overall quality of the service, and to provide a rating for the service under the Care Act 2014.

Inspection activity started on 20 March 2018, when we spoke by telephone with two people and a relative of a person who used the service and who agreed to speak with us. These telephone discussions were completed by an expert by experience. An expert by experience is someone who has experience of using this type of service. The week after our inspection visit to the provider's office, we spoke by telephone with a further four people who used the service.

Before the inspection visit, the provider completed a Provider Information Return (PIR). This is information we require providers to send us at least once annually to give us some key information about the service, what the service does well and improvements they plan to make. We used information the provider sent us in the PIR in our inspection planning.

The inspection was informed by feedback from questionnaires completed by a number of people using the service, care staff and healthcare professionals. We also reviewed the information we held about the service. This included information received from the local authority commissioners and the statutory notifications the registered manager had sent us. A statutory notification is information about important events which the provider is required to send to us by law. Commissioners are people who work to find appropriate care and support services which are paid for by the local authority.

During our visit to the office location on 26 March 2018, we spoke with one person who used the service, the interim manager, the director of people, the learning and development manager, a member of care staff, a senior member of care staff and the owners of the service. We refer to the owners as the ‘provider’ in our report. The registered manager was not available to meet with us that day. The interim manager is the acting regional manager for Unique Senior Care at Briar Croft and two other extra care services. We spoke with six care staff by telephone the week after our site visit.

We reviewed two people’s care plans and daily records, to see how their care was planned and delivered. We checked whether staff were recruited safely and trained to deliver care and support to meet people’s needs. We reviewed records of the provider’s quality monitoring system to see what actions were taken and planned to improve the quality of the service.

Overall inspection


Updated 18 April 2018

The inspection took place on 26 March 2018 and was announced. The provider was given short notice because the location provides a domiciliary care service and we needed to be sure that someone would be available to spend time with us.

This was the first inspection of the service since its registration with us in November 2016. The service had initially registered under the brand name Home Instead Senior Care. In November 2017 the service had been renamed as Unique Senior Care.

Unique Senior Care at Briar Croft is registered to provide personal care to people living in

specialist 'extra care' housing. Extra care housing is purpose-built or adapted single household accommodation in a shared site or building. The accommodation is rented or purchased on a shared ownership scheme, and is the occupant's own home. People's care and housing are provided under separate contractual agreements. CQC does not regulate premises used for extra care housing; this inspection only looked at people's personal care service.

Unique Senior Care also provide an on-call emergency service to everyone living in the building under a separate ‘well-being’ arrangement with the landlord, which people pay for as part of the service charge for the shared premises.

Briar Croft has 64 one or two bedroom apartments. People living at Briar Croft share on-site facilities such as a lift, lounge, restaurant, laundry, garden and hairdressing salon. People who need support with personal care are free to choose Unique Senior Care or any other domiciliary care service as their provider. At the time of this inspection, Unique Senior Care supported 20 people, 19 of whom received support with personal care.

The service had a registered manager. 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 were protected from the risks of abuse because staff received training in safeguarding people and understood their responsibility to report any concerns. The provider checked staff were suitable for their role before they started working for the service.

People’s care plans explained the risks to their individual health and wellbeing and the actions staff should take to support them safely. Care plans were regularly reviewed and updated when people’s needs changed. Staff were trained in safe medicines administration and in how to minimise the risks of infection.

The provider made sure there were enough staff, with the right skills and experience to support people effectively, and in line with their agreed care plan. Staff had regular opportunities to discuss their practice and consider their personal development.

People were supported to eat and drink enough to maintain a balanced diet that met their preferences. People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible; the policies, procedures and staff training supported this least restrictive practice.

People felt they were supported by staff who genuinely cared for them as individuals. Staff understood people’s diverse needs and interests and encouraged them to maintain their independence according to their wishes and abilities.

Staff were happy working for the service and felt supported to build relationships with individual people based on trust and shared interests. Staff supported people and encouraged them to maintain their interests and links with their community, according to their preferences. Staff respected people’s privacy and promoted their dignity.

People were confident any complaints and concerns they raised would be dealt with promptly. People were encouraged to share their opinions about the quality of the service at regular individual service reviews and service-wide meetings.

The provider’s quality assurance system included regular checks that people’s needs were met, checks of staff practice and audits of people’s medicines and the safety of their home environments.

Further information is in the detailed findings below.