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Alpenbest South

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

Buckingham House, 7 Churchfield Road, Walton on Thames, Surrey, KT12 2TT (01932) 255000

Provided and run by:
Alpenbest Limited

Latest inspection summary

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Background to this inspection

Updated 22 May 2019

We carried out this inspection under Section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (the Act) as part of our regulatory functions. This inspection was planned to check whether the provider was meeting the legal requirements and regulations associated with the Act, to look at the overall quality of the service, and to provide a rating for the service under the Care Act 2014.

Service and service type:

This service is a domiciliary care agency providing personal care to people living in their own homes. The service had a manager registered with the Care Quality Commission. This means that they and the provider are legally responsible for how the service is run and for the quality and safety of the care provided.

What we did:

Before the inspection we reviewed the evidence we had about the service. This included any notifications of significant events, such as serious injuries or safeguarding referrals. Notifications are information about important events which the provider is required to send us by law. We reviewed the Provider Information Return (PIR). This is information we require providers to send us at least once annually to give some key information about the service, what the service does well and improvements they plan to make.

Two inspectors visited the office on 26 March 2019 and one inspector visited the office on 28 March 2019. We gave the service 48 hours notice of the first office visit because we needed to be sure the registered manager would be available to support the inspection.

During the office visits we spoke with the registered manager, the registered provider and the agency’s permanently employed consultant. We checked care records for eight people, including their assessments, care plans and risk assessments. We looked at 10 staff files and records of staff training and supervision. We also checked records including complaints, accident and incident records, quality monitoring checks and audits.

After the inspection, we spoke with 23 people who used the service and 12 relatives to hear their views about the care and support provided by the agency. We received feedback from nine staff about the training and support they received from the agency to carry out their roles. We also received feedback from two professionals who had an involvement with the agency.

Overall inspection


Updated 22 May 2019

Alpenbest South is a large domiciliary care agency supporting people with personal care in their own homes. Most people using the agency received individual care visits; six people received live-in care. The agency is the largest provider of domiciliary care for the local authority, Surrey County Council.

People’s experience of using this service:

People received their care from consistent staff who understood their needs and preferences. Staff were kind and treated people with respect and dignity. People were involved in planning their care and their rights and wishes were respected. Staff encouraged and supported people to maintain their independence.

Staff monitored people’s health closely and reported any concerns promptly. Relatives and professionals told us staff were good at identifying and reporting changes to people’s health or well-being. Staff worked effectively with other professionals, such as GPs, district nurses and occupational therapists, to ensure people received the care they needed. If people’s needs changed, the agency ensured that risk assessments and care plans were reviewed and that staff were briefed about these changes.

The agency had effective quality monitoring systems, which ensured that people received safe, consistent and well-planned care. Quality monitoring included regular spot checks and observations on the care staff provided. People had opportunities to give their views about the care they received. The agency acted on people’s suggestions and requests for changes. People who had complained told us action had been taken to address their concerns.

The agency had a clear management structure which ensured accountability for key functions, such as rota planning, training and quality monitoring. Managers and office staff met regularly to plan the service and to discuss any challenges or concerns. There were systems in place to ensure learning took place from incidents and that improvements were made as a result. Complaints and allegations were investigated thoroughly and openly. People who had complained told us action had been taken to address their concerns. The agency informed other agencies of events when necessary and senior managers understood their responsibilities under Duty of Candour.

Staff had access to the induction, training and support they needed to carry out their roles. The agency had in-house training resources and accessed further training from a variety of sources when needed. This included specialist training where necessary to meet people’s individual needs.

Staff had opportunities to discuss their performance and development needs at one-to-one supervision meetings with their line managers. The agency had a set of values which focused on the provision of high quality, person-centred care. Staff were introduced to these values in their induction and were expected to demonstrate them in their practice.

Potential risks to people and staff were managed well. Risk assessments were carried out before people received care and measures put in place to minimise these. Medicines were managed safely. Staff helped people keep their homes clean and maintained appropriate standards of infection control.

Staff were recruited safely. Checks were carried out to ensure staff were of good character and suitable to work in health and social care. The provider had reviewed the agency’s business continuity plan to address the potential effects of Brexit and had supported staff to register on the EU settlement scheme where necessary.

The service met the characteristics of Good in all areas; more information is in the full report.

Rating at last inspection:

The service was rated Good at the last inspection on 5 September 2016.

Why we inspected:

This was a scheduled inspection based on the rating awarded at the previous inspection.

Follow up:

We will continue to monitor the service through notifications and communication with partner agencies such as local authorities and other commissioners. We will inspect the service again according to the rating achieved at this inspection unless we receive information of concern, in which case we may bring the next inspection forward.