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Archived: Allied Healthcare Southampton Good


Inspection carried out on 9 March 2016

During a routine inspection

This inspection took place on 09, 22, 23 and 31 March 2016 and was announced. The provider was given 48 hours because the location provides a domiciliary care service; we needed to be sure that someone would be available in the office.

Allied Healthcare Southampton provides personal care and support to people in their own homes. At the time of this inspection the agency was providing a service to 266 people with a variety of care needs, including people living with physical frailty or memory loss due to the progression of age. The agency is managed from a centrally located office base in Southampton.

The agency had a registered manager. 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. The service was currently in the process of registering the manager for the regulated activity of personal care.

The registered manager was assisted by care delivery managers and field care supervisors for separate branches within the service, which the service referred to as ‘pods’.

We received positive feedback from people about the service. Those people who used the service expressed great satisfaction and spoke very highly of the staff.

People told us they felt safe and secure when receiving care. However, peoples medicines were not always recorded appropriately when staff were applying creams and records did not always show where creams needed to be applied to. Staff received training in safeguarding adults and child protection for when they came into contact with children. Staff knew how to identify abuse and who to report concerns to.

Safe recruitment practices were followed and appropriate checks were undertaken, which helped make sure only suitable staff were employed to care for people in their own homes. There were sufficient numbers of care workers to maintain the schedule of care visits. Staff told us they felt supported and received regular supervisions and support. Staff meetings were held every quarter.

People’s risk assessments and those relating to their homes’ environment were detailed and helped reduce risks to people while maintaining their independence.

People who used the service felt they were treated with kindness and said their privacy and dignity was respected. People were supported to eat and drink when needed and staff contacted healthcare professionals when required. Staff had an understanding of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and were clear that people had the right to make their own choices.

Staff were responsive to people’s needs which were detailed in peoples care plans. People felt listened to and a complaints procedure was in place. Regular audits of the service were carried out to asses and monitor the quality of the service. Staff felt supported by the registered manager and felt they could visit the office any time and be listened to.

The manager demonstrated strong values and a desire to learn about and implement best practice throughout the service.

Inspection carried out on 11 April 2013

During a routine inspection

To help us to understand people's experiences of the service we spoke with seven people who use the service, their family and twelve staff. People told us that they received care from staff who were �very kind� and were grateful as they would not be able to manage without their help. They commented that the staff were courteous and respectful. A person told us they had regular care staff and they looked forward to their visits. Another person told us they needed two staff at each visit and this was provided.

People were assessed prior to receiving care. Risk assessments and care plans were developed to support people�s needs. Equipment as required was in place and staff told us training in their use was available prior to them using these. There was an induction process in place and staff were supported to undertake training relevant to their role.

There was an auditing system that assessed the quality of the service provision and an action plan was developed to address any shortfalls. People were consulted and their views were sought about the care they were receiving. There was a process in place to deal with any concerns and people told us they were confident to approach the service and to speak with the staff at the office.

Inspection carried out on 29 August 2012

During a routine inspection

We telephoned and spoke to nine people who use the service in order to seek their views about the care that they were receiving. We spoke to them about the support they received from staff and whether they had positive outcomes. People told us that care was mostly delivered as planned and described the staff as courteous and helpful. They said that they felt that their dignity and privacy was respected when receiving care. We were told that the agency had carried out an assessment of their needs before a service was provided.

People told us that they received information about their planned care and they usually had the same staff providing their care. Two relatives and people receiving care told us that they usually had the same staff which meant that there was continuity in their care. People using the service commented that the staff were very good. One person said that the �girls are very nice� and they were very happy with the care. Another person told us that they had been their relative�s primary carer and described the staff as �very kind, very good and very thorough�. Another person said �absolutely brilliant staff�.

People told us that they were aware of the times of their visits and staff usually kept to those times. Two people said that the staff did not always let them know when they were delayed and one of them said �this was not good�. One person said that they sometimes had to cancel their calls due to the staff�s delays as they had already supported their relatives with their care. One person commented that although there were care plans in place, staff had asked them �what to do�. This meant that staff were either not given adequate information prior to providing care and failing to follow the care plans. This may put people at risk of not receiving consistent care. Another person had commented that the level of care between that care staff was variable and they found that �consistency in care was an issue�.

People told us that they would ring the agency if they had any concerns about their care. One person said that they would tell their friend who would know who to call and report their concerns.