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Archived: Helping Hands of Harrogate Limited Outstanding


Inspection carried out on 9 May 2016

During a routine inspection

Helping Hands of Harrogate Limited is a domiciliary care agency that provides personal care and support for children, young people and adults with a range of disabilities and complex health care needs. It provides services across North Yorkshire and the surrounding areas. At the time of our inspection the service was providing care and support for 49 people between eight months of age and 40 years old.

This inspection took place on 9 May 2016 and was announced. At the last inspection on 8 September 2014 the provider was meeting all the regulations that were assessed.

There was a registered manager in place. 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 found that the provider placed the children, young people and adults who used the service at the heart of the care they received. We noted the service encouraged positive risk taking and did not restrict people’s interests and encouraged them to try new things. For example, we heard of examples where life enhancing recreational opportunities had been created for children with complex health needs to go swimming, to attend school clubs and to dip their toes in the sea. Another person had been enabled to undertake their first experience of employment, which was their ideal goal.

The provider actively involved people who used the service and their families in the recruitment process and in staff training. Because care workers were recruited and trained to meet people’s specific care needs we saw that care teams were highly reflective of the shared interests, backgrounds and beliefs of the people who they supported. This approach was firmly underpinned by the culture of the service, which we established was positive, person centred, inclusive and forward thinking.

We spoke with a range of people who used the service, families, professionals and staff who all felt this was an excellent service. People described a confident and resourceful staff team who respected individual’s dignity, privacy, views and choices. In their feedback people particularly highlighted the quality of their relationships with their care team and they told us they valued the continuity of their care and the reassurance this provided. Health and social care professionals reported the provider worked highly effectively to promote children, young people and adults’ rights. People’s feedback was actively sought and people who used the service, families and staff were all encouraged to share their views and contribute ideas on how their care could be enhanced.

We found the provider operated according to best practice guidelines and legislation such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). This sets out the rights of every child regardless of their race, religion or abilities. The provider had made positive changes as a result of listening to what children, young people and adults who used the service said to them.

Detailed, comprehensive care plans and risk assessments were in place and we found that the provider worked collaboratively with staff from other agencies to minimise identified risks. There was an effective management team in place to support the development of staff and ensure the service was consistently well led. We found that the management team reviewed and acted upon any issues to support the provision of high quality, consistent, safe care that we found.

Inspection carried out on 8 September 2014

During a routine inspection

A single inspector carried out this inspection. The focus of the inspection was to answer five key questions; is the service safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led?

Below is a summary of what we found. The summary describes what people using the service, their relatives and the staff told us, what we observed and the records we looked at.

If you want to see the evidence supporting our summary please read our full report.

This is a summary of what we found:

Is the service safe?

We mainly spoke with relatives of people who receive a service from the agency. Everyone spoke positively about the care their relative received and about the care workers. People said they knew who to speak to if they had any worries or concerns and were confident that action would be taken if they raised any issues. One relative said �I would not leave X with anyone if I did not feel that they were safe� another relative said �I would not let X go out with them if I did not feel X was always safe with the carers� another said �We trust them with X completely.�

Effective management systems were in place to make sure that managers and staff learned from events such as accidents and incidents, complaints, concerns and investigations. The service had completed comprehensive risk assessments for the environment and people�s physical and mental health.

Relatives we spoke with confirmed that their relatives received their medication as prescribed.

Procedures were in place for dealing with emergencies and staff were able to explain these to us.

Is the service effective?

People's files contained assessments, which showed that people's health, personal and social care needs were assessed before care was delivered to them at home.

Staff had received training to meet the needs of people they support in the community. They had also completed mandatory training (training required to be undertaken by all staff) so that they could work safely with people. When people were identified as being at risk, their care plans showed the actions required to manage these risks. The provision of specialist training for carers was evident from the staff training records we saw and from speaking to relatives and carers who worked for the agency.

People were protected against the risks associated with medicines because the provider had appropriate arrangements in place to manage medicines.

Relatives we spoke with confirmed they had a care plan in their home, which was followed by carers when they visited. Relatives said that care plans were up to date and reflected their relative�s current needs. Records we saw supported this.

Staff we spoke with told us they received �really good support� from the agency and described the agency as a �family run business.�

Is the service caring?

Relatives we spoke with told us that they were well supported by the service. We asked them for their views about the staff that supported them. Feedback from people was very positive. We spoke with eight relatives who used the service. We also checked some of the feedback people had provided. Everyone told us they were satisfied with the care they received and spoke positively about individual carers. People described them as being �motivated, caring and well trained staff.�

Is the service responsive?

Relatives told us that carers arrived on time and they stayed for the agreed length of time that had been agreed. Relatives told us if they had any problems they contacted the care co-ordinator or the manager who would make sure any issues were sorted out. They also said whenever possible they were kept informed about any changes to the usual carers who attended to their relative.

Relatives we spoke with told us they knew how to make a complaint if they were unhappy. Everyone we spoke with told us they would ring the agency office. They also told us that complaints would be investigated and action taken as necessary. One relative said �I would speak to X or anyone in the office if I did have a problem.�

Is the service well-led?

We saw that there was an effective and robust quality assurance system in place which meant that the service was learning from any audits and that there was continuous improvements at the service.

Effective management systems were in place to promote and safeguard people's safety and welfare.

Relatives we spoke with told us they thought the service ran very well. One relative said �Overall, I am more than satisfied they provide an excellent service� another said �I cannot praise them enough� and �They give a good service, they are one of the best agencies we have had.�

We saw from care files that the service worked well with other health care professionals and services to make sure people received the care they needed.

Inspection carried out on 15 April 2013

During a routine inspection

We saw evidence from care records viewed that where a person did not have capacity to consent to their care or treatment that other people were involved in making decisions about their care. One member of staff said �The families that I support have a lot of input. Their needs are taken into consideration and the agency works with them to find the best ways of doing things.�

We spoke with five parents of people receiving care. They all told us that the level of care and support provided by Helping Hands of Harrogate was excellent. Comments included �They are absolutely brilliant. They completely cater for what x wants�, �They really are exceptional� and �This is my best experience by far.�

Staff had a clear understanding of the different types of abuse and who they would report concerns to. This helped to ensure people were safeguarded from abuse.

We looked at four staff files and found they contained the relevant pre-employment checks which included application form, references, police checks and authorisation to work in the United Kingdom. This meant that the provider was assured that staff were not barred from working with adults or children and were eligible to work in the United Kingdom.

The agency had a range of quality assurance methods in place for monitoring the quality of service that people received.