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Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 13 October 2016

North Hill Homecare provides personal care and support to approximately eighty people in and around St Austell, Mevagissey and the ‘Clays’. At the time of our inspection a team of forty four staff were operating from the main office in St Austell.

The service is required to have a registered manager and at the time of our inspection there was a registered manager in post. 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 and associated Regulations about how the service is run.

Recruitment checks had not been completed for all staff before they began working at the service. In one instance a Disclosure and Barring Check (DBS) had not been requested until after the staff member had begun work with the agency. However, further records showed this was an isolated incident and there was evidence the staff member was not working alone but with a more senior staff member.

We have made a recommendation about the management of recruitment practice.

The service had a three month probation period which included one day office induction, spot checks and supervision reviews. However, the induction day did not always occur at the beginning of a person’s employment. This meant staff may not have the necessary information regarding policies, procedures, and safeguarding information at the beginning of their employment with the agency. We discussed this with the registered manager who recognised the need for induction to be an initial first step and agreed to act upon this with immediate effect.

People told us they felt safe and were well cared for by North Hill Homecare. Their comments included; “Very happy. Lovely girls”, “They chat and make me feel comfortable”, “They (staff) always make sure the door is locked when they leave and that makes me feel very safe.” A family member was positive about the support their relative received. They said, “They make sure all the equipment is there.”

The registered manager was confident about the action to take if they had any safeguarding concerns and had liaised with the safeguarding teams as appropriate. Staff told us they had attended both classroom training and e-learning (computer based training) to learn what action to take should staff witness or suspect abusive practice.

Risk assessments clearly identified any risk and gave staff guidance on how to minimise the risk. They were designed to keep people and staff safe while allowing people to develop and maintain their independence.

Visit schedules included appropriate amounts of travel time for staff between visits. Call monitoring data and daily care records showed that staff normally arrived on time and provided visits of the planned duration. People said, “They stay as long as they have to” and “On the odd occasion they have been delayed the office give me a ring and let me know.”

People told us they thought the staff knew their needs and how to meet them. Training records showed staff had been provided with all the necessary training which had been refreshed regularly. A staff member told us, “I have good access to all the training I need. We also have specialist training when people need certain equipment or specialist feeding.”

Suitable medicine procedures were in place should the service be required to administer medicines. Staff told us they had received training which gave them confidence to support people with medicines safely. Auditing of medicine records meant errors were identified and acted upon quickly.

The management team had systems in place to regularly measure the service’s performance and look at ways of developing the quality of service they provided. There were processes in place to seek people's views on the service and monitor the quality of the service. Information from customer surveys and the actions the provider took were shared openly and honestly with people.

Inspection areas



Updated 13 October 2016

The service was mainly safe. Recruitment procedures were completed prior to staff commencing work. However there had been one lapse and the registered manager had taken immediate action to address the issue.

Staff understood how people should be safeguarded and were confident about reporting any concerns.

Risk management procedures were designed to protect both people and their staff from harm.



Updated 13 October 2016

The service was effective. Staff had access to regular training events and there were procedures in place for the induction training of new members of staff.

People’s choices were respected and staff understood the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act.

The service’s visit schedules included appropriate travel time between care visits and records demonstrated care staff normally arrived on time.



Updated 13 October 2016

The service was caring. Staff were kind, compassionate and understood people’s individual care needs.

People and their families were involved in their care and were asked about their preferences and choices.

Staff supported and encouraged people to maintain their independence.



Updated 13 October 2016

The service was responsive. People’s care plans were detailed, personalised and provided staff with clear guidance on how to meet individual needs.

Staff were respectful of people’s rights and privacy.

People and their relatives told us they knew how to complain and would be happy to speak with managers if they had any concerns.



Updated 13 October 2016

The service was well led. Staff were supported by their manager. There was open communication within the staff team and staff felt comfortable discussing any concerns with their manager.

Systems were in place to monitor how the service operated.

People told us they felt listened to and the service responded to their views.