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Helping Hands - West Northumberland Requires improvement

This service was previously registered at a different address - see old profile

Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating

Requires improvement

Updated 26 April 2019

About the service: Helping Hands - West Northumberland provides personal care to adults with a range of health issues in their own homes. At the time of the inspection 222 people were supported.

People’s experience of using this service: People and their relatives were very complimentary about the care provided by staff. Where issues with staff had arisen, they had been dealt with quickly. People were treated with kindness, respect and dignity.

Concerns were raised about the timings of visits and staff told us they needed more travel time between visits. The provider had recently installed a new system to address this, but it needed to be fully embedded.

People were involved and supported in the way they wanted. People felt safe with care staff visiting them and staff knew how to report any concerns.

People, relative and staff told us communication with the providers offices was not always good. The provider was aware of this and was working to improve matters with additional support and training. We have made a recommendation regarding this. Work with other healthcare professionals was proactive and positive.

Improvements had been made with medicines management, but we still found some issues regarding medicines records.

People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and were supported in the least restrictive way possible. Staff encouraged people to maintain or regain their independence.

The provider monitored the quality and safety of the service through regular checks and audits.

Whilst we recognised the significant improvements the management team had made since our last inspection, the service had some areas which needed to further improve and be fully embedded and is therefore overall rated as requires improvement.

For more details, please see the full report below and which is also on the CQC website at

Rating at last inspection: Requires Improvement (Report published on 28 February 2018).

Why we inspected: The inspection was a planned inspection based on the previous rating.

Follow up: We will continue to monitor intelligence we receive about the service until we return to visit as per our inspection programme. If any concerning information is received we may inspect sooner.

Inspection areas


Requires improvement

Updated 26 April 2019

The service was not always safe.

Details are in our Safe findings below.



Updated 26 April 2019

The service was effective.

Details are in our Effective findings below.



Updated 26 April 2019

The service remained caring.

Details are in our Caring findings below.


Requires improvement

Updated 26 April 2019

The service was not always responsive.

Details are in our Responsive findings below.



Updated 26 April 2019

The service was well-led.

Details are in our Well-Led findings below.