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Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 17 June 2016

The inspection took place on 6 May 2016. The inspection was announced as 24-7 Community Support provides domiciliary care to people in their own homes we gave the service 24 hours’ notice to make sure there was someone at the office for the time of our inspection.

24 - 7 Community Support is a domiciliary care service that provides personal care and support to young people and people with physical disabilities, learning disabilities and autism who live in their own home or supported living. The service covers the Darlington area and at the time of our inspection the service supported 29 people.

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.

We spoke with members of the staff team including a board director, and care staff who told us that the registered manager was always available and approachable. We spoke with people who used the service on the day of the inspection and their relatives.

We saw that peoples prescribed medicines and topical medicines were recorded when administered. We looked at how records were kept and spoke with the registered manager and director about how staff were trained to administer medicines and we found that the medicines administering, recording and auditing process was safe.

From looking at people’s support plans we saw they were person centred. ‘Person-centred’ is about ensuring the person is at the centre of everything and their individual wishes and needs and choices are taken into account. The support plans made good use of personal history and described individuals care, treatment, wellbeing and support needs. These were regularly reviewed and updated by the care co-ordinators and the registered manager.

People who use the service received person centred support and their cultural beliefs were respected and valued.

Individual support plans contained risk assessments. These identified risks and described the measures and interventions to be taken to ensure people were protected from the risk of harm. The care records we viewed also showed us that people’s health was monitored and referrals were made to other health care professionals where necessary for example: their GP, mental health team and care manager.

Our conversations with people who use the service and their relatives during the inspection showed us that people who used the service were supported in their own homes by sufficient numbers of staff to meet their individual needs and wishes.

We looked at the recruitment process and found that relevant checks on staff took place and this process was safe. People who used the service chose their own staff and together with their families were a major part of the recruitment process.

We looked at the staff training records we could see staff members were supported and able to maintain and develop their skills through training and development opportunities. Staff we spoke with confirmed they attended a range of learning opportunities. They told us they had regular supervisions with the registered manager, where they had the opportunity to discuss their care practice and identify further training needs.

People were supported with one to one support to empower them and enable them to maintain paid employment opportunities.

People were encouraged to plan and participate in activities that were personalised and meaningful to them. People were supported regularly to play an active role in their local community, which supported and empowered their independence including; holding regular coffee mornings, accessing local facilities and supporting people to access public transport independently.

We saw compliments and complaints procedure was in place and this provided information on the action to take if someone wished to make a complaint and what they should expect to happen next. People also had access to advocacy services and safeguarding contact details if they needed it.

We found the service had been regularly reviewed through a range of internal and external audits. We saw action had been taken to improve the service or put right any issues found. We found people who used the service and their representatives were regularly asked for their views via phone calls and surveys.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) provides a legal framework for making particular decisions on behalf of people who may lack the mental capacity to do so for themselves. The Act requires that as far as possible people make their own decisions and are helped to do so when needed. When they lack mental capacity to take particular decisions, any made on their behalf must be in their best interests and as least restrictive as possible.

People can only be deprived of their liberty to receive care and treatment when this is in their best interests and legally authorised under the MCA. Any applications must be made to the Court of Protection. At the time of this inspection no applications had been made to the Court of Protection.

Inspection areas



Updated 17 June 2016

This service was safe.

The service ensured the safe management of medicines.

There was sufficient staff to cover the needs of the people safely in their own homes.

The service had individualised risk assessments in place that were developed in a person centred way.

People who used the service knew how to disclose safeguarding concerns, staff knew what to do when concerns were raised and they followed effective policies and procedures.



Updated 17 June 2016

This service was effective.

People could express their views about their health and quality of life outcomes and these were taken into account in the assessment of their needs and the planning of their care.

Staff were regularly supervised and appropriately trained with skills and knowledge to meet people’s needs.

The service communicated well with other healthcare professionals and people were supported to access other healthcare services.



Updated 17 June 2016

This service was caring.

People’s independence was paramount and people were supported to achieve and maintain this.

People were treated with kindness and compassion.

People were understood and had their individual needs met, including needs around social inclusion and wellbeing.

People had the privacy they needed and were treated with dignity and respect at all times.

Staff were knowledgeable about advocacy and people had access to advocacy where needed.



Updated 17 June 2016

This service was extremely responsive.

People without exception received person centred care and support in accordance with their preferences, interests, aspirations and diverse needs.

People and those that mattered to them were encouraged to share their views about their care, treatment and support.

Person centred planning included activity plans and goal setting and this reflected people’s aspirations and enabled them to plan and reach their personal goals.



Updated 17 June 2016

This service was well led.

There was an emphasis on fairness, support and transparency and an open culture. Staff were supported to question practice and those who raised concerns and whistle-blowers were protected.

There was a clear set of values that included person centred approaches to support, dignity, respect, equality and promoting independence.

There were effective service improvement plans and quality assurance systems in place to continually review the service including, safeguarding concerns, accidents and incidents, complaints and comments.