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Inspection carried out on 24 October 2019

During a routine inspection

About the service

Hometouch is a domiciliary care agency that provides care and support to younger and older people in their own home. People receiving a service included those with dementia, mental health, physical disabilities and learning disabilities. Hometouch provided two models of care. An Introductory care model where the service introduced people using the service to private carers. However, the service did not manage the carers and the support they provided. This aspect of the service was not regulated by CQC. The second regulatory model was a service fully managed by Hometouch and was regulated by the CQC. At the time of our visit there were 12 people receiving a regulated service. All 12 people were receiving 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 and what we found

Hometouch provided safe care. Staff received training in safeguarding people and there were safe recruitment procedures in place to protect people from unsuitable staff. There were enough care staff deployed to support people. People received their medicines safely by suitably trained staff. Risks related to people’s health conditions and providing care had been assessed. Staff were provided with guidelines on how to minimise identified risks.

People’s health and care needs had been assessed before the service started. The information was then used to formulate person centred care plans for each person. Care plans included information about people’s care needs and preferences as well people’s history and what was important to them. At the time of our inspection, the service was implementing a new electronic care planning online platform. The aim was to enable staff, the managers and when agreed family members to have prompt access to up to date information about people’s care.

Staff received training and were undergoing regular checks and supervision. This was to help staff provide safe and effective care to people that met people’s needs. Staff supported people to live a healthy life. People were provided with sufficient and nutritious food and drink. Staff ensured external health professionals had been notified when people’s health needs changed, or their health suddenly deteriorated.

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.

People and relatives described staff as kind and caring. They told us staff protected people’s dignity and privacy. External professionals thought staff were professional and supported people with consideration to people’s needs and wishes. Staff spoke kindly about people. They told us empowering people to have the choices and following people’s wishes was important to them.

People and relatives knew how to raise concerns and complaints about the service. The managers dealt with received complaints promptly.

The service was well managed. There were clear polices and procedures guiding staff on what their roles and responsibilities were. The management team were aware of their regulatory responsibilities. These had been met according to the standard required by the Regulations.

Stakeholders spoke positively about the management team and support they offered. People and relatives thought the managers were approachable, easily accessible and helpful when issues arose. Staff felt listened to and supported by the managers. External professionals praised the managers and staff for their professionalism and empathetic approach to the care offered to people.

The service sought feedback about the service from people, relatives, staff and external professionals. Feedback from surveys as well as information gathered from quality audits complaints, accidents and incidents and safeguarding concerns, w