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Inspection carried out on 7 November 2017

During a routine inspection

The inspection visit at Reliacare Limited was carried out on 07 November 2017 and was announced. The provider was given 24 hours’ notice because the service delivered domiciliary care to people who lived in their own homes. We needed to be sure people in the office and people the service supported would be available to speak to us. We contacted staff and conducted telephone interviews on 13 and 15 November.

Reliacare Limited is a domiciliary care agency. It provides personal care support to people living with dementia, mental health and older people. It supports people who misuse drugs and alcohol, people who have a physical disability and younger adults, all who live in their own homes. The agency is situated in the town of Ulverston. The office is accessible to anyone with mobility problems. At the time of our inspection there were 42 people receiving a service from Reliacare Limited.

Reliacare Limited registered as a domiciliary care agency with the Care Quality Commission in October 2016. We had not previously inspected the service.

The service had a registered manager in place. 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.

During this inspection, we found staff had received training to safeguard people from abuse. They understood their responsibilities to report any unsafe care or abusive practices related to the safeguarding of adults who may be vulnerable. Staff we spoke with told us they were aware of the safeguarding procedure. One staff member told us, “I would not leave if people weren’t safe.”

There was an appropriate skill mix of staff to ensure the needs of people who used the service were met. New staff worked alongside experienced staff members whilst they learnt their role.

The registered provider planned visits to allow carers enough time to reach people and complete all tasks safely.

Care plans were organised and had identified the care and support people required. We found they were personalised and informative about the care people received. They had been kept under review and updated when necessary. They reflected any risks and people’s changing needs.

Staff responsible for assisting people with their medicines had received training to ensure they were competent and had the skills required. The registered provider completed spot checks on staff to observe their work practices were appropriate and people were safe.

Staff were provided with personal protective equipment to protect people and themselves from the spread of infection.

The registered provider had put in place procedures around recruitment and selection to minimise the risk of unsuitable employees working with people who may be vulnerable. Required checks had been completed before any staff started work at the service. This was confirmed during discussions with staff.

The registered provider had regularly completed a range of audits to maintain people’s safety and welfare.

Staff members received training related to their role and were knowledgeable about their responsibilities. They had the skills, knowledge and experience required to support people with their care and support needs.

Staff told us they received regular formal and informal support from the management team.

People and their representatives told us they were involved in their care and had discussed and consented to their care packages. We found staff had an understanding of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA).

When appropriate meals and drinks were prepared for people. This ensured people received adequate nutrition and hydration.

Care records contained information about the individual’s ongoing care and rehabilitation requirements. This showed the registered provider worked