We undertook an announced inspection of Pathways to Opportunities on the 4 December 2015 and spoke with people who use the service and their relatives on the 16 December. The inspection was announced 48 hours prior to our visit to ensure that the registered manager or other responsible person would be available to assist with the inspection.
Pathways to Opportunities is a service that provides care to people within their own home or out in their local community. The main office is situated centrally to Oldham and support is provided to people in and around Oldham. The services provided include personal care, assistance with medication, cooking meals, daily activities and shopping. At the time of our inspection 15 people used the service.
The service had 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.
We identified one breach of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. You can see what action we told the provider to take at the back of the full version of the report.
People and their relatives were confident they would be listened to and any action would be taken to resolve their concerns. However the register manager did not have a formal method of recording complaints.
Support workers who had been recently recruited told us they had been through a robust recruitment process. We saw that Pathways to Opportunities recruitment and selection policy had been followed in the recent employment of support workers. We looked at the training records for all support workers. Newly recruited support workers had received induction training when they started their employment and had shadowed existing staff.
Care plans were in place that reflected the needs of the people. This included information about how people wanted to be supported, their likes and dislikes, when support was required, and how this was to be delivered. We saw evidence of people and their relatives being involved in the decision making process throughout the initial assessment and during reviews of their care.
We looked at the medication administration record (MAR) charts for all the people who used the service. The recording of medicines was done in line with current guidance.
Information regarding people’s dietary needs was included in people’s care plan, and detailed guidance for support workers was provided in order to ensure that they met these requirements. Any specific dietary requirements were clearly documented, and all allergies were written in bold so support workers were aware of any risk to a person’s health.
Support workers were able to respond to people’s individual needs by following care plans. We spoke with three people who confirmed they received support to access the community to participate in leisure activities. One person confirmed that their support worker’s would accompany them to attend health appointments or request health professionals to visit the home if needed.
All support worker had undertaken training in the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) or were allocated a date for completing training in MCA; this legislation provides legal safeguards for people who may be unable to make their own decisions. The registered manager explained that they worked alongside the local authority and would agree people’s capacity to consent to the care and treatment prior to any service being commenced. This was evidenced and documented in the care plans.
People who used the service provided positive feedback about the staff who supported them. During the inspection we noted warm, friendly and respectful interactions between the support workers and the people they were supporting.