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Careline Homecare Darlington Good

Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 16 January 2021

About the service

Careline Homecare Darlington is a domiciliary care agency which provides care and support to people living in their own homes. At the time of our inspection there were 162 people using the service.

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

People expressed confidence in the care they received, and in the abilities, attitude and competency of their care staff. However, nearly every respondent noted, over the last few months, the timekeeping and punctuality of the carers had deteriorated significantly. Many noted this was in contrast with their earlier experiences of the service when they had found it to be very reliable.

The registered manager discussed how the pressures of the second wave of the pandemic had significantly impacted staff and the service performance. Following the inspection, the registered manager wrote to all the people and relatives to apologise for the reduction in service and explain the circumstances.

A large proportion of the staff discussed the pressures they had faced in recent months because of volumes of additional calls being added to their rota. Staff reported they were finding at times they could not get breaks during sometimes 14-hour shifts. The registered manager outlined how pressures on the service had increased over the last few months, as there had been increased levels of sickness and the need for staff to self-isolate. Work was being undertaken to recruit additional staff and review rotas.

We found co-ordinators and supervisors had systems in place to schedule calls and monitor attendance at calls. Two care coordinators covered different areas in Darlington, and they had their own staff team. Staff discussed how they did not get travel time and this had impacted service delivery. People were not always made aware of changes to the times that staff would be visiting. The registered manager confirmed they would ensure rotas were reviewed and travel time would be introduced.

Every staff member was committed to assisting people to have a good quality of life and all available staff had pulled together to cover all the care packages.

Medicines were administered in a safe manner. Systems were in place, which monitored how the service operated and ensured staff delivered appropriate care and treatment.

Staff took steps to safeguard people and promote their human rights. Incidents were dealt with appropriately and lessons were learnt, which helped to keep people safe. When necessary, external professionals were involved in individual people’s care.

Appropriate checks were completed prior to staff being employed to work at the service.

The senior management team completed comprehensive audits of the service and constantly looked for areas for improvement.

For more details, please see the full report which is on CQC website at

Rating at last inspection

The last rating for this service was good (report published 30 March 2018).

Why we inspected

This was a planned inspection and completed in line with our current programme. This report only covers our findings in relation to the Key Questions Safe, Responsive and Well-led.

The ratings from the previous comprehensive inspection for those key questions not looked at on this occasion were used in calculating the overall rating at this inspection. The overall rating for the service has improved to good. This is based on the findings at this inspection.

You can read the report from our last comprehensive inspection, by selecting the ‘all reports’ link for Careline Homecare Darlington on our website at

Follow up

We will return to visit as per our re-inspection programme. If we receive any concerning information we may inspect sooner.

Inspection areas



Updated 16 January 2021

The service was safe.

Details are in our safe findings below.



Updated 16 January 2021



Updated 16 January 2021



Updated 16 January 2021



Updated 16 January 2021

The service was well-led.

Details are in our well-led findings below.