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Listen to an audio version of the report from our inspection on 22 April 2015, which was published on 21 May 2015. Listen to the report.

Reports


Inspection carried out on 5 April 2017

During a routine inspection

Time Together Domiciliary Care Agency is a registered charity which provides personal care and support to people in their own homes. At the time of this inspection the agency was providing personal care and support to 12 people who had a learning disability, autistic spectrum disorder or a physical disability. The agency operates from a ground floor office, which also includes a communal area for activities and staff use. It is located on the outskirts of Harrogate. There is disabled access into the service and limited parking alongside the office. However, there is also on street parking nearby.

At the last inspection, the service was rated Good. At this inspection we found the service remained Good.

People told us they felt safe and well supported by the support workers from the agency. The registered provider followed robust recruitment checks, to employ suitable support workers, and there continued to be sufficient support workers employed to ensure home visits were carried out in a timely way. People’s medicines were managed safely.

Support workers received appropriate training to give them the knowledge and skills they required to carry out their roles. This included training on the administration of medicines and how to protect people from the risk of harm. Support workers received regular supervision to fulfil their roles effectively, and had yearly appraisals to monitor their work performance.

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

Where relevant to people's needs, support workers helped people understand about health eating, budgeting and grocery shopping. People who used the agency said the support workers help them develop ‘daily living skills’, which enabled them to be more independent. Where support workers prepared and cooked meals for people, people told us they enjoyed good food.

Support workers knew about people’s individual care needs and care plans were person-centred and detailed. People and their relatives gave us positive feedback about the support workers and described them as “Excellent, caring and knowledgeable.” We were told the support workers treated people who used the service with compassion, dignity and respect.

People told us that the agency was well managed and organised. The registered manager assessed and monitored the quality of care provided to people. People and support workers were asked for their views and their suggestions were used to continuously improve the service.

Further information is in the detailed findings below.

Inspection carried out on 22 April 2015

During a routine inspection

We did this announced inspection over two days, 22nd and 23rd April 2015. The provider was given two days’ notice of our inspection because the location is a domiciliary care agency and we needed to be sure that someone would be available at the location office to provide us with the information we needed.

The first day was spent at the agency office and the second day was used to contact people by telephone at a pre-arranged time. During our inspection we met with people who used the service, some relatives and staff at the agency office. We also met with people in their own home, by invitation.

Time Together Domiciliary Care Agency is a registered charity which provides personal care and support to people in their own homes. At the time of this inspection the agency was providing personal care and support for five people who had a learning disability and other associated conditions. The agency operates from a ground floor office which also includes a communal area for activities and staff use. It is located on the outskirts of Harrogate. There is disabled access and limited parking alongside the office. However, there is also on street parking nearby.

The service employs a manager who has worked at the service since March 2012, and was appointed team leader in November 2014. During November 2014 she was appointed to manager when the current manager took the decision to step down. The manager was in the process of applying for registration with the Care Quality Commission. If successful the manager will become the registered manager. Like registered providers, registered managers 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.

At the previous inspection, which took place on 21 August 2013, the service was compliant with all of the regulations we assessed.

People we spoke with or their relatives told us they felt safe with staff from the agency. Staff were recruited safely and they were trained appropriately to be able to support people.

The service had safeguarding vulnerable adult’s policies and procedures in place which were understood by staff. Staff received training in safeguarding vulnerable adults and all those spoken with confirmed that they would tell someone should any aspect of poor care be observed or if they had concerns about service delivery.

Staff identified and understood individual risks to people and worked with them to minimise these risks, whilst also supporting them to remain as independent as possible.

People were positive about the staff who supported them or their relatives. Staff from the agency were described as being ‘excellent’ ‘caring’ and ‘fun.’ People told us staff treated them or their relatives with compassion, dignity and respect.

People told us they were able to make choices. Their likes, dislikes and personal preferences were recorded in their care records and were known and understood by staff. Risks to people’s health and wellbeing had been identified. These risks were being monitored and reviewed, which helped to protect people’s wellbeing.

Training was provided for staff and they told us this supported them in their roles. They received appropriate induction, training, supervision and support.

Staff understood the principles of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). DoLS are part of the MCA (Mental Capacity Act 2005) legislation which is in place for people who are unable to make decisions for themselves. The legislation is designed to ensure that any decisions are made in people’s best interests.

The registered provider and manager had an effective quality assurance system in place which ensured that the agency provided care to people in a safe and effective way.

The agency had not received any complaints in the previous twelve months. The manager told us they dealt with any concerns immediately. The complaints procedure was given to people who use the service and they told us they could talk to staff if there was a problem.

A number of staff working at the agency had been in post for a long time. They knew the service and the people they supported well.

Inspection carried out on 21 August 2013

During a routine inspection

We visited one person in their own home and spoke to another person by telephone. We found that people had been involved in deciding what support would work for them and how that support would be delivered. This made sure that people agreed to the care that they received.

People who were able to speak with us said that they felt they were involved in decisions about their care and treated with respect. People also told us that they received good support, with comments such as “I am happy with Time Together.” We saw from people's care plans that people were supported to live as independently as possible. The agency had carried out an assessment of the needs of each person, and kept this under review, to enable appropriate care and support to be given.

The agency supports some people with their medication. People told us they received their medication at the right time. Staff had received training on this and people were supported to take the medication they needed safely.

Records we looked at also confirmed that staff received good training in areas such as safeguarding adults, infection control and first aid. Staff we spoke with told us that they received good support from their line manager.

The organisation had systems in place to make sure people were safely cared for. This included policies and procedures and quality monitoring systems.

Inspection carried out on 15 January 2013

During a routine inspection

We were not able to speak to people who used the service due to their complex needs. So we spoke with people’s care managers and their relatives, via the telephone. One relative said ”She has a good social life and her days are filled”. We were also told “The staff are very good at meeting the special need requirement of our relative.”

We spoke with five members of the staff team. They told us how they would protect the people they cared for. We saw the service had policies and procedures in place now to support the care staff and the people who used the service from actual or potential abuse.

We reviewed the staff rotas and were shown how shortfalls in staffing would be managed. There was an on call system in place to support the care team and people who used the service.

We reviewed the complaints policy. This was in an easy read format so all people were aware of how to raise concerns if they wished.