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The Barn

Overall: Good

Hangleton Lane, Ferring, Worthing, West Sussex, BN12 6PP (01903) 507801

Provided and run by:
Assist Care Group Limited

Latest inspection summary

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Background to this inspection

Updated 5 February 2020

The inspection

We carried out this inspection under Section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (the Act) as part of our regulatory functions. We checked whether the provider was meeting the legal requirements and regulations associated with the Act. We looked at the overall quality of the service and provided a rating for the service under the Care Act 2014.

Inspection team

The inspection team consisted of two inspectors. One inspector undertook telephone interviews with people and/or their relatives.

Service and service type

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

The last manager of the service de-registered with CQC, just before the inspection took place. The service was being overseen by the operations manager and the provider, until a new manager could be recruited. Once registered, the new manager and the provider would be legally responsible for how the service was run and for the quality and safety of the care provided.

Notice of inspection

We gave the service 48 hours’ notice of the inspection. This was because we needed to be sure that the provider or manager would be in the office to support the inspection. Inspection activity started on 19 December 2019 and ended on 2 January 2020. We visited the office location on 19 December 2019.

What we did before the inspection

We reviewed information we had received about the service since the last inspection. We sought feedback from the local authority and professionals who work with the service. 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 eight people who used the service and five relatives to obtain their feedback. We also spoke with the provider who was the nominated individual. The nominated individual is responsible for supervising the management of the service on behalf of the provider. We spoke with the manager, two care co-ordinators, training manager and a care assistant. We reviewed a range of records which included ten care plans. We looked at two staff files in relation to recruitment and supervision. A variety of records relating to the management of the service, including policies and procedures, were reviewed.

After the inspection

We sought feedback from a number of social care professionals who knew the service. At the time the report was written, we received one response, which stated there had been no recent involvement with the service.

Overall inspection


Updated 5 February 2020

About the service

The Barn (formerly known as District Carers Limited) is a domiciliary care agency providing care to people living in their own homes. It currently provides a service to adults with a range of care and support needs. Approximately 140 people were receiving support at the time of the inspection. The service covers Pagham, Bognor Regis, and the coastal strip over to Shoreham by Sea, then northwards to Pulborough and Storrington. 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 and what we found

People were protected from the risk of abuse and harm by staff who had been trained appropriately and knew what action to take if they had any concerns. A relative said, “On the whole safety is very good. They have a comprehensive medicines policy and good training in moving and handling. Mum and I get a rota emailed which says the names of staff and when they are coming. Staff safety is also good as they log in and out when they visit and have access to an on-call system”. Risks to people had been identified and assessed, with guidance for staff on what actions to take, which was followed. People told us that staff were usually on time when visiting their homes and, if they were going to be late, they would be informed. New staff were recruited safely. Some people required staff to administer or prompt them to take their medicines and this was managed safely. People’s needs were regularly reviewed to ensure the service they received remained appropriate.

Before people received support from the service, their needs were assessed to ensure these could be met by trained staff. People and their relatives were involved in discussions about their care. 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.

Staff completed a range of training which was relevant to their roles and specific to meet people’s needs. They received regular supervision from their line managers.

People were supported to eat and drink in a healthy way and staff prepared meals, taking account of people’s special dietary needs. People received support from a range of healthcare professionals and service. One person said, “Two months ago, staff stayed with me until the doctor came after calling him. They called my daughter over too, so I wouldn’t be on my own later”.

People told us that staff were kind and caring and responsive to their needs. People’s diverse needs were identified and catered for and care was delivered in a personalised way that met people’s preferences. One person commented, “It’s fantastic. They all work together to help each other. I’m never left without a carer”. People were treated with dignity and respect.

Care plans were drawn-up with people and their relatives and provided detailed information about people’s personal histories, as well as their care and support needs, which staff followed. Care plans were held electronically, although hard copies were available for people to keep at home. People’s communication needs had been identified, so that staff communicated with them in a way that suited them. Complaints were managed in line with the provider’s policy and resolved in a timely manner.

People and their relatives were positive about the service and commented on the caring nature of the staff who supported them. Their feedback was obtained through annual reviews.

A range of audits had been implemented to measure and monitor the quality of the service and to drive improvement. Staff felt supported by the management team. The service worked in partnership with others. At the time of inspection, the service was being overseen by the operations manager and the provider, the last manager having recently de-registered with CQC.

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

Rating at last inspection

The service registered with us on 9 January 2019.

Why we inspected

This was a planned inspection based on the timescales set out on our registration programme.

Follow up

We will continue to monitor information we receive about the service until we return to visit as per our re-inspection programme. If we receive any concerning information we may inspect sooner.