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Helping Hands Maidstone Good

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


Inspection carried out on 13 February 2020

During a routine inspection

About the service

Helping Hands Maidstone is a domiciliary care service registered to provide personal care for older people, people who live with dementia, people who have learning disabilities or autistic spectrum disorder and people who misuse drugs and alcohol. Not everyone who used the service received personal care. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) only inspects where people receive personal care. This is help with tasks related to personal hygiene and eating. Where they do we also consider any wider social care provided. At the time of our inspection 28 people were receiving personal care.

People’s experience of using this service and what we found

People and their relatives were positive in their feedback about the service and said they would recommend them to others. Comments from people included, “The best I’ve had, have confidence the agency will deal with issues”, “So friendly, they are my mates [staff]. They help make me look gorgeous, we have a laugh” and, “I find them brilliant.” A relative said, “So far, nothing they could do better, much better than the previous agency.”

People felt safe receiving support from staff they knew well. People’s needs were assessed prior to receiving care and, this information was transferred into their care plan. Staff understood the importance of meeting people’s needs, wishes and preferences. People were involved in the development and review of their care plan.

People were supported to manage their medicines safely with support from trained and competent staff. Potential risks posed to people and staff had been monitored and minimised. Internal and external risks within people’s properties had been assessed. Action was taken to reduce the reoccurrence of accidents.

Staff followed guidance from healthcare professionals to ensure people remained as healthy as possible. Staff were knowledgeable about people’s specific health needs. People, if required, were supported to maintain their nutrition and hydration.

People’s likes, dislikes and personal histories were recorded within their care plan. People’s privacy and dignity was protected whilst encouraging people to be as independent as possible.

People 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.

Staff felt supported in their role by the management team and were given the training, support and guidance they required, to fulfil their role. Staff had been recruited safely with checks in place reduce the risk of unsafe staff working with people.

People’s feedback, concerns and complaints were listened to and acted on. There were a range of checks and audits in place to promote a high-quality service and continuously improve.

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 18 August 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 29 June 2017

During a routine inspection

We inspected this service on 29 June and 07 July 2017. The inspection was announced. The provider was given two working days’ notice because the location provides a domiciliary care service and we needed to be sure that someone would be available at the locations office to see us.

Helping Hands Maidstone is registered as a community based domiciliary care agency (DCA) which delivers personal care to people living in their own homes. At the time of our inspection the agency was supporting 74 people. 50 people within the Maidstone area and 24 people in Barnet whilst a new office was being registered with the Care Quality Commission. This was the first comprehensive inspection since the agency was registered at the new address.

At the time of our inspection, there was a registered manager in place who was supported by a senior and local management team. 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.

The registered manager was experienced, motivated and passionate about providing people with a high quality service. Staff felt valued in the role by the registered manager and the management team. The registered manager ensured effective communication between themselves and staff working out in the community. People and staff were asked for feedback on ways to improve the service people received. People were signposted to other organisations which they may find beneficial by the registered manager.

People received a service that was safe and told us they felt safe. Staff and the management team had received training about protecting people from abuse, and they knew what action to take if they suspected abuse. Systems were in place to monitor and review any safeguarding concerns by a dedicated member of staff employed by the provider. The safety of staff who were working out in the community had been assessed with systems put into place to reduce the risk to staff. Risks to people’s safety had been assessed and recorded with measures put into place to manage any hazards identified.

There were enough staff with the right skills and knowledge to meet people’s needs. Staff received the appropriate training to fulfil their role and provide the appropriate support. Staff were supported by the registered manager and the management team who they saw on a regular basis. The registered manager encouraged staff to undertake additional qualifications to develop their skills. A comprehensive induction programme was in place, which all new staff completed. Staff had a clear understanding of their roles and people’s needs. Recruitment practices were safe and checks were carried out to make sure staff were suitable to work with people who needed care and support.

Staff had a full understanding of people’s care and support needs and had the skills and knowledge to meet them. People received consistent support from the same group of staff who knew them well. People’s needs had been assessed to identify the care and support they required. Care and support was planned with people and/or their relatives and reviewed to make sure people continued to have the support they needed. Detailed guidance was provided to staff within a care plan, kept in the person’s home about how to provide all areas of the care and support people needed.

Where staff were involved in assisting people to manage their medicines, they did so safely. Policies and procedures were in place for the safe administration of medicines and staff had been trained to administer medicines safely.

People were supported to remain as healthy as possible. Guidance was available within peoples support plans to inform the staff of any specific health condition support. People were encouraged to maintai