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Northamptonshire Domiciliary Care Agency

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

Red Unit, First West Business Centre, Linnell Way, Kettering, Northamptonshire, NN16 8PS (01536) 411415

Provided and run by:
Royal Mencap Society

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Background to this inspection

Updated 26 June 2018

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

This was an announced inspection that took place on 21 and 23 May 2018 and was completed by one inspector and an expert by experience. An expert-by-experience is a person who has personal experience of using or caring for someone who uses this type of care service. We gave the provider 48 hours’ notice because the location provides a domiciliary care service and we needed to be sure that someone would be in.

Before the inspection, the provider completed a Provider Information Return (PIR). This is a form that asks the provider to give some key information about the service, what the service does well and improvements they plan to make. We reviewed the previous report, information we held about the service and notifications we had been sent. Notifications are changes, events or incidents that providers must tell us about. This was used to inform our inspection judgements.

On the first day of our inspection we visited the office and examined records. We also visited four people in their own homes. On the second day we spoke with relatives over the telephone.

During the inspection visit we visited people in their own homes. Some people were not able to tell us about their experiences of the service so we also spoke with four relatives. In addition, we received feedback from a health care professional. We had discussions with the registered manager, the service manager and three care and support staff.

We looked at the care records of five people who used the service. We also looked at other information relation to the management of the service. This included four staff recruitment records, training records, information about the service such as policies, procedures and arrangements for managing complaints care and how the quality of service was monitored.

Overall inspection


Updated 26 June 2018

At the last comprehensive inspection on 22 and 26 January 2016, the service was rated Good.

At this announced inspection on 21 and 23 May 2018, we found the service remained 'Good'.

This service provides care and support to people living in eight supported living settings so that they can live as independently as possible. People’s care and housing are provided under separate contractual agreements. CQC does not regulate premises used for supported living; this inspection looked at people’s personal care and support.

Northamptonshire Domiciliary Care Agency provides personal care to people living in their own homes or shared accommodation when they are unable to manage their own care. They provide support with personal care, food preparation, managing finances and enabling people to undertake activities in the local community.

The care service has been developed and designed in line with the values that underpin the Registering the Right Support and other best practice guidance. These values include choice, promotion of independence and inclusion. People with learning disabilities and autism using the service can live as ordinary a life as any citizen.

There was a registered manager in post. 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.

Staff had a good understanding of what abuse was and the safeguarding procedures that should be followed to report it. People had risk assessments in place to cover any risks that were present within their lives, but also enable them to be as independent as possible. All the staff we spoke with were confident that any concerns they raised would be followed up appropriately by their manager. Staffing levels were sufficient to meet people's current needs. The staff recruitment procedures ensured that appropriate pre-employment checks were completed to ensure only suitable staff worked at the service.

Medicines were managed safely. The processes in place ensured that the administration and handling of medicines was suitable for the people who used the service. Staff were trained in infection control, had the appropriate personal protective equipment to perform their roles safely. There were arrangements in place for the service to make sure that action was taken and lessons learned when things went wrong, to improve safety across the service

People’s needs and choices were assessed and their care provided in line with up to date guidance and best practice. They received care from staff that had received training and support to carry out their roles. Staff were well supported by the registered manager and had one to one supervisions and observations of their practice.

People were encouraged to shop for, prepare and cook their own meals. Staff supported them to make healthy choices to maintain their health and well-being. Staff supported people to book and attend appointments with healthcare professionals, and supported them to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The service worked with other organisations to ensure that people received coordinated and person-centred care and support.

People's consent was gained before any care was provided and the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 were met. People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff support them in the least restrictive way possible; the policies and systems in the service support this practice

Staff treated people with kindness, dignity and respect and spent time getting to know them and their specific needs and preferences. People were happy with the way that staff provided their care and support. People were encouraged to make decisions about how their care was provided.

People were listened to, their views were acknowledged and acted upon and care and support was delivered in the way that people chose and preferred. Care plans were person centred and reflected how people’s needs were to be met. Records showed that people were involved in the assessment process and the on-going reviews of their care. There was a complaints procedure in place to enable people to raise complaints about the service.

The service worked in partnership with other agencies to ensure quality of care across all levels. Communication was open and honest, and improvements were highlighted and worked upon as required.

The service had an open culture that encouraged communication and learning. People, relatives and staff were encouraged to provide feedback about the service and it was used to drive continuous improvement. Staff were motivated to perform their roles and worked to empower people to be as independent as possible. The provider had quality assurance systems to review the quality of the service to help drive improvement.