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Archived: Pulse - Plymouth

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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 10, 11, 16 October 2013
Date of Publication: 14 November 2013
Inspection Report published 14 November 2013 PDF

Staff should be properly trained and supervised, and have the chance to develop and improve their skills (outcome 14)

Meeting this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Are safe and their health and welfare needs are met by competent staff.

How this check was done

We looked at the personal care or treatment records of people who use the service, carried out a visit on 10 October 2013, 11 October 2013 and 16 October 2013, observed how people were being cared for and talked with people who use the service. We talked with carers and / or family members, talked with staff, reviewed information given to us by the provider and talked with other authorities.

Our judgement

People were cared for by staff who were supported to deliver care and treatment safely and to an appropriate standard.

Reasons for our judgement

The people we spoke with were pleased with the care workers who provided the care and support for them or their relative. People told us new care workers were always introduced to them and they worked alongside more experienced care workers before they started visiting people alone.

The care workers we spoke with told us they had "lots of training" and they were up to date with training. Two care workers told us about their induction. Their comments included "it was a long process, everything was done thoroughly" and included a three days training on first aid, health and safety at work, moving and handling, administration and management of medicines, and safeguarding vulnerable adults. Another care worker told us that all new care workers also had to complete training about tracheostomy care. (Tracheostomy is a surgical procedure to create an opening in the neck at the front of the windpipe to assist someone who cannot breathe.)

The office team explained that all new staff had to attend the three days induction training and pass the competency tests for each subject. They were then able to shadow more experienced staff but only for generic work. The office team told us that induction included how to record in the care records, and new care workers were also shown how to do this whilst they were shadowing more experienced staff. If a care worker had been employed to work with a specific individual, then the care worker was expected to complete training required to be able to care and support that particular individual. This could be, for example, two days of training about care and support of someone with a spinal injury, care and management of tube feeding, and/or catheter care. We were told that any clinical competencies were recorded on a data base and all staff had to complete the training and be "signed off" as competent before they could work. The case manager told us "training is very thorough". They gave an example about catheter care and said the training included the purpose of catheter and how to ensure good infection control. They said all staff training was overseen by the company's head office to ensure everyone was working was up to date and competent to provide safe and effective care. This meant care workers were appropriately supported and trained to enable them to deliver care to people safely and to an appropriate standard.

The care workers we spoke with told us they had one to one supervision about every three months. They said they received a text message or an email prompting them to arrange this with their line manager. One care worker told us they "had to fit it in or we cannot work". The registered manager confirmed that one to one supervisions were mandatory for all staff. She showed us a weekly email she had received from the company's head office listing everyone who was due/overdue for supervision. The registered manager told us informal supervision also took place and the care workers we spoke with confirmed they could contact either the registered manager or their line manager any time if they needed support or help with their work. They also told us that when they worked weekends, they were always contacted by the manager on call for the weekend. They said this was usually to check that everything was all right and "a call to say hello". The care workers we spoke with said the one to one meetings were an opportunity to discuss their work, any training needs, and professional development. They all said the office team was approachable and other comments included "responsive", "always someone available", "[any issues] everything sorted pretty much straight away", and, "very supportive". The registered manager confirmed that staff could "pop in [to the office] for the sake of popping in" and there was always someone available. We were told "it's important to support staff".

The office team told us the recruitment process for Pulse was "incredibly stringent". Prospective employees had to hav