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Inspection carried out on 19 September 2018

During a routine inspection

This inspection took place on 19 and 20 September 2018 and was announced. This was the first inspection since the service was registered.

Helping Hands (Exeter) Ltd is a domiciliary care service and provides personal care to people living in their own houses and flats in the community. They provide a service to older people, and people living with disabilities who require support with personal care and daily living tasks. The agency is based in Exeter and covers Exeter and the surrounding area. At the time of this inspection they provided personal care to 25 people. Not everyone using Helping Hands (Exeter) Ltd receives regulated activity; CQC only inspects the service being received by people provided with ‘personal care’; help with tasks related to personal hygiene and eating. Where they do we also take into account any wider social care provided.

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.

People told us they received a safe service. Care was taken to recruit the right staff for the job, and to check they were suitable. Staff received induction and regular training to ensure they were competent and able to carry out their roles safely and effectively. Comments included, “It’s a five-star service. I don’t think there have been any untoward incidents since the service started. People who select staff do a brilliant job”.

Staff knew how to identify and report any concerns about possible harm or abuse. They received training and information on how to recognise and report abuse and were confident any concerns would be addressed satisfactorily.

Before people received a service, an assessment was carried out to identify their needs. A care plan was drawn up and agreed with them. Potential risks to people’s health and safety were identified and staff knew how to support people to remain safe and well. Where people had been identified as being at risk of illness or injury, staff knew the actions they must take to reduce the risk of harm. People were supported to remain healthy. Care staff knew each person well, and understood their needs fully. They worked closely with health and social care professionals to ensure people received the right care and treatment. Consent to care and treatment was always sought in line with legislation and guidance.

People received a reliable service. There were sufficient staff employed to meet peoples’ needs and to ensure people did not experience missed visits. People told us they rarely, or never, received visits from care staff they did not know. Care staff always visited close to the expected time, stayed the correct length of time, and were never rushed.

People received safe support with their medicines. Staff were given information on each medicine to be administered and any risks. Staff were not allowed to administer medicines until they had received training and their competence had been checked and confirmed. Medicine administration records were completed accurately. A care staff told us, “It is a stipulation that you have to pass the training or you cannot provide the care”.

People told us they received a service that was effective. Comments from people we spoke with included, “I am very happy, it is such a relief to have people who pay attention and care”.

Staff were well trained and competent, well supported and supervised.

People received a service from staff, managers and providers who had an ethos of valuing and caring for people, and treating each person as a valued individual. People praised the staff team for their caring manner. Comments included, “I am very, very pleased – especially (the carer) I am having at the moment. She has made a