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Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 5 January 2018

Essex Cares North is a domiciliary care agency and provides short, six week care to people in their own home. At the time of the inspection 23 people were using the service. It provides a service to older adults, people with dementia or mental health issues, people with a physical disability, people with a sensory impairment and younger adults. This service provides personal care, help with daily living activities and other practical tasks, usually for up to six weeks.

At the last inspection on the 7 and 12 of October 2016 we asked the provider to make improvements because the service did not always assess and record risks correctly and did not always identify errors or omissions in medicines promptly. We also found that care plans were task focussed and lacked detail.

During this inspection, we found that the provider had improved the running of the service. There were elements of the service that were outstanding. We found that the service was “Outstanding” in the Well-led domain this was because the provider had plans in place to ensure that they continuously learnt and improved. The service provided a service based on core values that were visible at all levels of staffing. This meant that they had created a firm foundation to work towards providing an outstanding services in all areas.

People were receiving care from staff that had an excellent understanding of individual risks and needs. Staff had been thoroughly vetted and were employed because of their personal values as well as their skills. Staff were supported to develop their skills and knowledge and their understanding of safeguarding vulnerable people was excellent.

Systems were in place so people could take their prescribed medicines safely and people told us they were satisfied with the service being offered to them but some people told us that sometimes their visit times could vary. There were sufficient staff to meet people’s needs and to manage risk.

The registered manager had good links with other health professionals within hospital and social care settings, working together to source the best care options for people referred to the service. Staff had access to a physiotherapist and occupational therapist who were on hand to offer advice and support regarding people's changing physical needs and equipment needs.

People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible; the policies and systems in the service supported this practice.

Staff knew people well and had time to develop positive relationships with them. People were supported to consume food and drink of their choice and staff worked well with people and health care professionals, to ensure people maximised their health and wellbeing. People received support that was personalised and staff responded flexibly to changes in their lives.

Guidance was in place to enable staff to provide a consistent level of support. We have made a recommendation about end of life care. People and their relatives told us they were aware of how to make a complaint and felt they were listened to by the registered manager.

People told us that staff were kind and compassionate and spoke highly of them. Staff promoted person centred care at all levels of seniority to ensure the best outcomes for people. People told us that they were treated in a respectful and dignified way at all times.

Inspection areas



Updated 5 January 2018

The service had improved and was safe.

There were sufficient numbers of staff to support people. Some people told us that the time staff would arrive could be quite variable. The registered manager was looking at ways they could improve satisfaction in this area.

Arrangements were in place to protect people from risks to their safety and wellbeing, including the risks of avoidable harm and abuse.



Updated 5 January 2018

The service was caring.

Staff received a wide and varied range of training depending of the needs of the people they were supporting.

The service had a strong focus on the continual assessment of people�s needs.

Technology was used to look at how care and support could be delivered to people to enhance their independence.



Updated 5 January 2018

The service was caring.

People spoke highly of staff and consistently told us they were very kind and compassionate.

Staff understood the needs of the people they supported which included their personal histories and backgrounds. Staff considered how to treat people�s information in a confidential way.

Staff were able to give people the time and support they needed to provide care and support in a compassionate way.



Updated 5 January 2018

The service had improved and was responsive.

People were involved in the care they received through the assessment, planning and review of their care and support.

There were processes in place to deal with people�s concerns or complaints and to use the information to make improvements to the service.



Updated 5 January 2018

The service was well led.

People and all staff told us that the registered manager was knowledgeable, supportive and non-judgemental. The registered manager had an emphasis on improving the wellbeing and increasing the retention of staff.

The registered manager and quality and corporate governance team had implemented new and robust systems and processes.

The provider had an excellent oversight of the service and was open, transparent and supportive.