South Western Care Services is a care agency which provides short visits to support people living in their own homes. At the time of our inspection the service was supporting approximately 40 older people. Not everyone who used the service received personal care. CQC only inspects where people receive personal care. This is help with tasks related to personal hygiene and eating. Where they do we also consider any wider social care provided.
People’s experience of using this service and what we found
The service ‘s recruitment practices were safe and there were enough staff available to provide all planned care visits. Since our last inspection managers had introduced a new weekend rota to enable people’s needs to be met by a reduced number of staff. People were informed of these arrangements before they joined the service. We have recommended the service reviews these arrangements with the aim of improving the consistency of people’s planned visit times.
Staff used a digital call monitoring system to record their arrival and departure times from each planned care visit. This data was monitored by office staff to ensure all planned visit were provided. No-one reported having recently experienced a missed care visit and staff told us, “There have not been any missed visits that I know of.”
Call monitoring records showed most people received their visits on time and people told us the service’s performance in this area had improved. Comments from people and staff in relation to visit times included, “They are always on time", "The timing has got better" and “The rotas are fine, I don’t have to rush.” We found the service’s rotas were well organised and included appropriate amounts of travel time between care visit.
Staff had received safeguarding training and understood how to protect people from all forms of abuse or discrimination. Risks were assessed and the service had made timely, appropriate referral to professionals for additional support where issues of possible self-neglect had been identified.
Staff had the skills necessary to meet people’s needs and there were appropriate procedures in place for the induction of new members of staff. Staff told us there were well supported and records showed they received regular supervision, spot checks and annual performance appraisals. In addition, team meetings were held regularly and included on staff rotas.
Staff supported people to maintain their independence and respected people’s decisions and choices. Manager and staff understood the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act and worked with relatives to ensure any decisions made on behalf of people who lacked capacity were made in their best interest.
People described their support staff as jovial, caring and friendly; and professionals told us staff went, “the extra mile” to ensure people needs were met. Comments from people and in relation to the staff team included, “They show lots of patience", "They are all very friendly" and "They chat with me and the staff listen to me."
People’s care plans were accurate and informative. They provided staff with enough guidance to meet people’s needs. This included information about the person’s background and life history and details of the tasks people were normally able to do for themselves. This helped staff to get to know people and recognise any changes in their individual needs.
The service had appropriate quality assurance systems in place and records showed all complaints received had been investigated and resolved. Feedback questionnaires were completed regularly and people’s comments on the service’s current performance were positive.
A registered manager had been appointed since our last inspection and the provider was no longer leading the service. Staff told us the service’s leadership team were effective and professionals were also complimentary of the service’s management.
Rating at the last inspection
The last rating for this service was Requires improvement. (Report published 21 March 2019) and there was a breach of the regulations in relation to staff recruitment checks. That responsive inspection was carried out to follow up on actions we told the provider to take following previous comprehensive inspection report published on 19 October 2018. Improvements identified in March 2019 inspection report have been sustained and the service has now been rated good in all areas.
Why we inspected
This was a planned inspection based on the previous rating.
We will continue to monitor information we receive about the service until we return to visit as per our re-inspection programme. If we receive any concerning information we may inspect sooner.