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Alternative Care Services Limited

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, London, E2 6HG (020) 7993 4159

Provided and run by:
Alternative Care Services Limited

Latest inspection summary

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Background to this inspection

Updated 27 June 2019

The inspection

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

Inspection team

This consisted of one inspector.

Service and service type

This service is a domiciliary care agency. It provides 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.

Notice of inspection

We gave the service 48 hours’ notice of the inspection. This was because it is a small service and we needed to be sure that the provider or registered manager would be in the office to support the inspection.

Inspection activity started on 20 May and ended on 31 May 2019. We visited the office location on 21 May 2019.

What we did before the inspection

We reviewed information we had received about the service since the last inspection. The provider was not asked to complete a provider information return prior to this inspection. This is information we require providers to send us to give some key information about the service, what the service does well and improvements they plan to make. We took this into account when we inspected the service and made the judgements in this report. We reviewed the last inspection report and the action plan the provider sent us after the last inspection. We used all of this information to plan our inspection.

During the inspection

We spoke with two people who used the service and three relatives about the experience of the care provided. We spoke with six members of staff which included the registered manager, the communications director and four care workers.

We reviewed a range of records. This included four people’s care records, with one record for a person who had recently stopped using the service. We looked at three staff files in relation to recruitment, training and supervision. We also reviewed records related to the management of the service.

After the inspection

We continued to seek clarification from the provider to validate evidence found in relation to training and quality assurance processes. We spoke with one health and social care professional who had experience of working with the service.

Overall inspection


Updated 27 June 2019

About the service

Alternative Care Services Limited is a domiciliary care agency. It provides personal care to people living in their own homes. It provides a service to older people and younger disabled adults and is the first provider in the UK specifically for the LGBTQI+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and other ways that people can define themselves, for example Q (Questioning) and I (Intersex)) community. They were supporting four people at the time of the inspection.

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

People and their relatives were positive about the caring and compassionate nature of the staff that supported them. One relative said, “They are inclusive and importantly, understand and look at LGBT issues.”

People and their relatives felt listened to and involved in decisions about their care. We received positive comments about the flexible and tailored approach to meeting their needs.

There was an open and inclusive culture across the service and people and their relatives felt comfortable approaching the management team. People and their relatives were confident any issues would be dealt with and had been happy with how the provider had responded to their feedback.

People felt safe using the service and relatives told us they felt reassured with the service provided. A health and social care professional praised the provider on how they had responded to an emergency.

People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests. The policies and systems in the service supported this practice.

The provider was passionate about the rights of people who needed support from the LGBTQI+ community and shared information about inclusive events and opportunities with people and the staff team.

For more details, please see the full report which is on the CQC website at www.cqc.org.uk

Rating at last inspection

At the last inspection the service was not formally rated (published 17 November 2018).

Why we inspected

This was a planned inspection based on the previous rating.

Follow up

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.