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Archived: St Lukes Care Outstanding

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


Inspection carried out on 25 September 2017

During a routine inspection

The inspection took place over three days on the 25 and 27 September and the 3 October 2017. The inspection was announced. The provider was given 48 hours’ notice because the location provides a domiciliary care service and we needed to be sure that someone would be present in the office. One adult social care inspector undertook the inspection.

St Luke’s Care first registered with The Care Quality Commission on the 5 September 2015. The service was last inspected on 16 July 2014 and was rated as Good overall. On the 1 July 2016 the service moved to a new location and this is the first inspection since the provider registered at the new address.

St Luke’s Care is a domiciliary care service, which provides care and support to adults of all ages in their own homes. The service provides short and long term support with people’s personal care needs in Plymouth and South West Devon. As well as support with personal care the service also supports people with other daily living tasks and activities. At the time of the inspection 19 people were receiving support with personal care needs.

A registered manager was employed to manage 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 and relatives without exception spoke very highly of the service they received from St Luke’s Care. They described the staff as extremely caring and said they were always willing to go the extra mile to help ensure they were comfortable and safe. A relative we met said, “I didn’t know what proper care was like until we started using St Luke’s Care”

Relatives of people who used the service described how staff had formed strong bonds with their loved ones, which had enabled the staff to gain a deep understanding of their needs. This had helped them trust staff to provide care. One relative said, “I haven’t been able to go out, not even to the shop, now I can trust [….] is safe. I can have a little break, cut the grass, pop and get the paper” Another relative said, “ [….] has been in hospital and has been very clear that whatever I do I must have St Luke’s Care supporting them when they come home. They don’t want anyone else”. One person told us, “It’s the little things that make all the difference, they pick up fish and chips for me once a week and make sure I have fresh bread”.

People and relatives said they also felt the leadership of the service was exceptional. Comments from people and relatives included, “We know all the managers, we speak to them regularly and they visit us to check everything is ok” and “If ever I have any problem I call the office and they sort it straight away” One person described how the staff and management went over and above their role to help them when they had a crisis at home, “They sorted out accommodation for us, made phone calls and made sure the care continued, they couldn’t do enough to help”.

The management of the service inspired staff to provide a quality service. The PIR stated, ‘We have an employee of the month award which staff vote for other care staff. This has proved to be a success as everyone celebrates the positives in each other’ A staff member said “ I really believe the way we are treated impacts positively on the people we care for, we feel valued, so we value the work and support we provide”.

There was a very effective quality assurance system in place to check quality and to drive continuous improvement across the service. On the day of the inspection the registered manager was able to provide evidence of a really clear system of quality checks, analyses and action plans to address any issues relating to people’s care and quality of the service. The registered manager and senior staff undertook a range of quality audits, which included spot visits of staff, checks of all records and discussions with people to check care was being delivered in the way they needed and wanted. Information gathered about people and the service was used to aid learning and drive improvement across the service. Learning from quality audits, incidents, concerns and complaints were used effectively to help drive continuous improvement across the service.

Personalised care was central to the home’s philosophy and staff demonstrated they understood this by talking to us about how they met people’s care and support needs. Staff spoke with compassion and used words like, “Individual”, “Independence” and “Rights” when they talked about people they supported. There was a very positive culture within the service. The management team provided strong leadership and led by example. The registered manager had clear visions, values and enthusiasm about how they wished the service to be provided and these values were shared by the staff team. Staff had clearly adopted the same ethos and eagerness and this showed in the way they cared for people. We observed positive and compassionate interactions between staff and the people they supported. Staff said they loved their work and were passionate about providing a high standard of care.

People said the time keeping of staff for visits was good and if staff were delayed they would always receive a phone call from the head office to let them know. People said they knew the staff well and always knew who would be visiting them and providing support. Comments included, “We get a rota every week, if there is any change they let us know in good time” and “ We always know who is coming, staff might be new, but they always come with another staff member to meet us first”.

People said they felt safe using the service. A relative said, “There are always the correct number of staff available, they know how to use the equipment and support [….] in a way that makes them feel safe. I can tell they feel safe by the way they laugh and smile when they are being supported”. Staff had received training in how to recognise and report abuse and were confident any allegations would be taken seriously and investigated. The recruitment process of new staff was robust and people who used the service met new staff to check they were happy to receive care from them. Systems were in place to help ensure people had safe and appropriate support to manage their medicines.

Staff were well trained and said training was relevant to their role and kept updated. The registered manager was passionate about developing the skills of the team, and also kept themselves updated with current issues and best practice. Individual staff members were nominated champions in particular areas of care such as ‘dementia care’, ‘end of life’ and ‘medicines management’. They attended training and used their skills and knowledge to support staff and help ensure the whole staff team had the skills and knowledge needed to provide high quality care. The registered manager and staff worked in partnership with other agencies to help ensure the best outcome for people using the service.

Management and staff understood their role with the regards to the Mental Capacity Act (2005). People’s consent was sought before care and support was provided. When people were unable to consent to aspects of their care, or were unable to make decisions, discussions took place with relatives and other relevant agencies to help ensure decisions were made in people’s best interest.

People’s health and dietary needs were well met. Staff ensured people had access to the food and fluid they needed to maintain good health. If concerns were highlighted by staff, advice was sought by staff and appropriate referrals made to health services. Staff supported people if required to arrange and attend hospital and GP appointments.

People were involved in planning and making decisions about their care and support. Support plans were personalised and included information about people’s daily routines and how they chose and preferred to be supported. The registered manager and senior staff visited people in their homes and spoke regularly with people to check they were happy with the care provided. Support plans were reviewed regularly to help ensure information remained accurate and up to date. Annual satisfaction surveys were sent to people and relatives to provide the opportunity for feedback. This information was analysed by the registered manager and action taken to address any issues or shortfalls in the service. A monthly newsletter was sent out to people to update them on information about the service.