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Helping Hands Dartford

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

7 Copperfields, Dartford, DA1 2DE (01322) 921343

Provided and run by:
Midshires Care Limited

Latest inspection summary

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Background to this inspection

Updated 7 September 2019

The inspection

We carried out this inspection under Section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 as part of our regulatory functions. This inspection checked whether the provider is meeting the legal requirements and regulations associated with the Health and Social Care Act 2008, to look at the overall quality of the service, and to provide a rating for the service under the Care Act 2014.

Inspection team

The inspection was carried out by one inspector.

Service and service type

This service is a domiciliary care agency. It provides personal care to people living in their own homes.

Notice of inspection

This inspection was announced. We gave the service 48 hours’ notice of the inspection. This was because we needed to be sure that the manager would be in the office to support the inspection. Inspection activity started at the registered provider's office on 09 August 2019 and ended on 16 August 2019.

What we did before the inspection

We reviewed information we had received about the service since the last inspection. This included details about incidents the provider must notify us about, such as abuse, serious injury or when a person dies.

We used the information the provider sent us in the provider information return. This is information providers are required to send us with key information about their service, what they do well, and improvements they plan to make. This information helps support our inspections. We used all of this information to plan our inspection.

During the inspection

We spoke with three people who used the service and one relative about their experience of the care provided. We spoke with five members of staff including the area, registered manager, and three care staff.

We reviewed a range of records. This included seven people’s care records and medication records. We looked at three staff recruitment files, and staff training and supervision files. A variety of records relating to the management of the service, including policies and procedures were reviewed.

Overall inspection


Updated 7 September 2019

About the service: This service provides personal care, predominantly to older people living in their own homes. There were 25 people using the service during our 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:

We received positive feedback about Helping Hands Dartford. Comments from people and their relatives included, “Staff are good at keeping in contact if they are stuck in traffic.” “We have a great relationship with my carers.” “The manager matched really good carers to my relative’s needs.” “The best care staff I have ever had.”

People had an initial assessment before they received a service and the assessment was used to produce a care plan personalised to them. Documentation in the care plans was fully completed. A person-centred approach had been taken in the care planning process to promote the importance of staff accessing individual information about people, which was documented.

An assessment of risks took place for each person and risk control measures were put into place to help keep people safe and prevent harm. Environmental risks inside and outside people’s homes were documented to minimise the risk from potential hazards.

Risk management systems included minimising the risks of infection. Staff received training about infection control and were provided with the personal protective equipment they needed for their roles. For example, disposable gloves.

Accidents and incidents were logged on a computerised monitoring system. A lessons learnt approach was taken following up on incidents to identify themes and prevent future occurrences.

Medicines administration was monitored and overseen by the registered manager. Staff received training and followed an up to date policy so that people received their medicines in a safe way.

A safeguarding policy with the information staff would need to follow if they had concerns about people was available. People told us they felt safe and knew who they would talk to if they did not.

People did not require the assistance of staff to manage their health care needs as they took care of this themselves with support from the NHS GP's and community nursing teams. However, staff received awareness training about the conditions people lived with so that staff understood how the conditions could affect people.

People were supported with their nutrition and hydration needs where necessary. People’s relatives took responsibility for this for most people.

The provider and registered manager followed safe recruitment practices to recruit suitable staff. Enough staff were available to be able to run an effective service and be responsive to people’s needs. Staff had a suitable induction period when they were new, where they were introduced to people before they started to support them.

Staff were informed about current practice through staff meetings and by being updated with organisational information and new health and social care guidance.

End of life care was not being provided at the time of the inspection.

The registered provider had a set of values the staff understood and included protecting people's human rights.

The provider had an up to date complaints procedure and people and their relatives told us they would know how to make a complaint if they needed to.

Quality auditing processes included asking people who used the service for their views. The registered manager and provider effectively used their quality audit system to plan improvement to the service. The management benefited from learning and meeting with other managers within the organisation.

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

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

Rating at last inspection

This service was registered with us on 30 August 2018 and this was the first inspection.

Why we inspected

We inspect all newly registered services within 12 months of their registration date. This was a comprehensive inspection.

Follow up

We will continue to monitor the service.