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Inspection carried out on 12 February 2020

During a routine inspection

About the service

Forestcare is a domiciliary care agency. They provide personal care, occasionally and if needed, as part of their emergency responder service. The responder service includes staff visiting people in emergencies and providing whatever support is indicated, which may include personal care.

They provide the service from their 24-hour, 365 days a year telecare response centre based in Bracknell. They also offer a range of telecare solutions to individuals to provide support for them in their own homes. This support includes, emergency assistance when someone has a fall and cannot get up; rapid response for an unplanned discharge from hospital; emergency support when another agency has not been able to provide planned support and help when unforeseen circumstances occur where the family has other commitments.

Not everyone using the service receives personal care. CQC only inspects where people receive personal care. This is help with tasks related to personal hygiene and eating. At the time of this inspection there were 1506 people signed up to the responder service. During the seven months between 1 June 2019 and 31 December 2019 staff visited 263 people in response to an emergency. Out of those visits, personal care was provided 56 times.

People’s experience of using this service

People were protected from the risks of abuse. Recruitment processes were in place to make sure, as far as possible, that people were protected from staff being employed who were not suitable.

People received effective support from staff who were well trained. They told us staff had the training and skills they needed when providing their support. Where people required healthcare support, staff were skilled at obtaining the appropriate support without delay.

People's rights to make their own decisions were protected. They were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests; the policies and systems in the service supported this practice.

People were treated with care and kindness. They were consulted about their support and their wishes and views were recorded in their support plans. People were treated with respect and their dignity was upheld. This was confirmed by people who provided feedback.

People's right to confidentiality was protected and they received support that was individualised to their personal preferences and needs. People said staff and management responded well to any concerns they raised. One person said they had not had to raise any concerns but felt the service would take action if they did.

People benefitted from a service which had an open and inclusive culture. They thought the service was well-led. Staff were happy working for the service and people benefitted from staff who felt well managed and supported.

For more details, please see the full report which is on the CQC website at

Rating at last inspection:

The last rating for this service was good (published 6 September 2017).

Why we inspected

This was a planned inspection based on the previous rating.

Follow up

We will continue to monitor information we receive about the service until we return to visit as per our re-inspection programme. If we receive any concerning information we may inspect sooner.

Inspection carried out on 7 August 2017

During a routine inspection

This inspection took place on 7 August 2017 and was announced. We gave the registered manager 48 hours' notice as we needed to make sure someone would be in the office. This was the first inspection carried out at the service since the provider added this location to their registration on 11 August 2016.

Forestcare has recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. On their website they say they are Bracknell Forest’s telecare service, "Designed to offer personalised support to suit a range of needs, Forestcare offers free assessments and advice to the borough’s vulnerable residents and their families. Through this service the team design a bespoke monitoring and response package to enable the borough’s older and vulnerable residents to maintain their independence while having peace of mind that help is at hand."

Forestcare provides a number of different services to support and enable people to continue to live in their own homes. The majority of the services are linked, but different aspects of the service provision, although linked together, are not regulated.

Some of the services they offer that do not require registration include:

- The lifeline service. This is a 24 hour, 365 days a year telecare service. Forestcare install and monitor lifeline alarms in people's homes. People then wear a pendant which they can press to call for assistance if they need it.

- Care calls. A care call is where staff at the service's control centre telephone people at pre-arranged times each day to check they are okay. Care calls can also be used to prompt people to take their medicines.

- Medicine monitoring. People can have their medicine in a unit which is programmed to dispense medicine at chosen intervals. If the person does not take their medicine at the appropriate time the unit will sound an alert and will raise an automatic call through to the Forestcare control centre.

- Mobile global positioning system (GPS) lifeline monitoring. The device provided for this service is the size of a key fob and is fitted with a roaming phone card which utilises the mobile phone network to connect to the control centre. It has a button which can be used to raise an alert to Forestcare so they can find out what the problem is and arrange help. The GPS element of the device also enables the service to locate the person if they get lost or have an accident, wherever they are.

In November 2016 Forestcare launched its new 'responder service', which provides emergency care to people in their own home at any time of the day or night. The emergency care and support offered may involve the provision of personal care and it is this aspect of the service which is registered and regulated by the Care Quality Commission. The responder service is offered to people as an addition to the lifeline service and includes staff visiting people in emergencies and providing whatever support is indicated, which may include personal care. In their documentation they state that, "Each emergency care situation is different, but some common scenarios we regularly give immediate support to include: rapid response for an unplanned discharge from hospital; emergency support when another agency has let a family down; help when unforeseen circumstances occur and a family has other commitments; assistance with personal care and falls."

Overall the service handles approximately 10,000 calls a week and they monitor more than 3,000 lifeline alarms across Bracknell Forest and surrounding areas. At the time of our inspection 17 people were signed up to the responder service. Plans were underway for a further 80 people to sign up in August and September 2017.

The service had a registered manager as required. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the CQC 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 regulatio