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Active Assistance - Sevenoaks

Overall: Good

2nd floor, 1 Suffolk Way, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 1YL (01732) 779353

Provided and run by:
Staff Management Limited

This service was previously registered at a different address - see old profile

Latest inspection summary

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Background to this inspection

Updated 8 August 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 was planned to check 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.

The inspection took place on 16, 17 and 25 May 2018. We gave the service 48 hours’ notice of the inspection visit because it is office based and the manager is often out of the office supporting staff or providing care. We needed to be sure that they would be in.

Inspection site visit activity started on 16 May 2018 and ended on 25 May 2018. It included direct observation of care and support, interviews with people, their relatives and staff employed by the service, and review of care records and policies and procedures. We visited the office location on 16, 17 and 25 May 2018 to see the manager and office staff; and to review care records and policies and procedures. We also visited some people in their homes to speak to people and observe the care they received.

The inspection team consisted of four inspectors. We spoke with the registered manager, the operations manager, the director of quality, nine carers, 35 people and four people’s relatives. We looked at 13 people’s care plans and the associated risk assessments and guidance. We looked at a range of other records including four staff recruitment files, the staff induction records, training and supervision schedules, staff rotas, medicines records and quality assurance surveys and audits.

This is the first time the service had been inspected under the new registration.

Overall inspection


Updated 8 August 2018

The inspection took place on 16, 17 and 25 May 2018 and was announced to ensure that the management team and people using the service would be available during the inspection.

This service is a domiciliary care agency. It provides personal care to people living in their own houses and flats in the community and supported living homes. It provides a service to children, young people, adults and older people, with physical disabilities and a wide range of diagnoses and health needs. Active Assistance provided support with personal care to 392 people across the country when we inspected. Active Assistance has a registered office in Sevenoaks and five regional managers based across the country. The regional managers have care service managers and personal care assistants who support people who use the service. All paperwork and information is sent to and stored in the Sevenoaks office.

At the time of our inspection there was a registered manager at the service. 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 being kept safe from abuse. Staff understood their responsibilities in keeping people safe from abuse and had been trained to know how to report any possible concerns. People were supported safely around risks and were encouraged to take positive risks after control measures were applied. Staffing levels met people's needs safely and people told us that they had staff to support them when they needed it. There were emergency plans in place for people living at home who required staff to meet their medical needs.

People received their medicines safely and when they needed them by staff trained to administer them. The risk from infection was reduced by effective assessment, training and the provision of personal protective equipment. When things went wrong the service had learned from these and had shared that learning with staff teams.

People had received an assessment of their needs and their needs were tracked though care plans to ensure effective outcomes were achieved. Staff had the necessary skills and competencies to support people and had been trained in key areas such as safeguarding, moving and handling, and food safety as well as in additional areas that met people’s needs, such as catheter care. Staff were supervised effectively and had annual appraisals

People received enough food and drink to maintain good health. Staff worked in partnership to provide consistent support when people moved to or from the service. People had access to healthcare professionals and were supported to maintain good health. Staff responded in a timely way when people were unwell and medical guidance was followed correctly.

People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives. Staff supported people in the least restrictive way possible; the policies and systems in the service supported this practice. The principles of the Mental Capacity Act were being complied with and any restrictions were assessed to ensure they were lawful, and the least restrictive option.

Staff treated people with kindness and compassion. Staff knew people’s needs well and people told us they liked and valued their staff. People, and where appropriate, their relatives were consulted around their care and support and their views were acted upon. People’s dignity and privacy was respected and upheld and staff encouraged people to maintain their independence as safely possible.

There was a complaints policy and form, available to people. Complaints had been utilised to improve the service. People received a pain free and dignified death at the end of their lives. Staff supported people with compassion and worked with local hospice teams. People were supported in a personalised way that reflected their individual needs. People’s care plan documentation was written in a way they could understand and it reflected their needs.

There was an open and inclusive culture that was implemented by the management team. Audits and governance systems were effective in providing a high-quality service. People and staff spoke of a friendly and homely culture that was empowering. People, their families and staff members were engaged in the running of the service. There was a culture of learning from best practice, and working with other professionals and local health providers to ensure partnership working resulted in good outcomes for people.