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Archived: Heart of the South Cornwall Branch Good

This service is now registered at a different address - see new profile


Inspection carried out on 7 February 2019

During a routine inspection

About the service: Heart of the South is a domiciliary care service providing personal care and support for people in their own homes in Cornwall. Bespoke packages of care and support are tailored for mainly adults with some packages providing 24 hours support. At the time of the inspection seven people were receiving support.

People’s experience of using this service:

The service had systems to ensure risks were managed and people were kept safe. People received effective care from a well-supported and trained staff team.

People received personalised care that was responsive to their needs and preferences. 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.

Staff understood the importance of respecting people’s abilities and promoting independence. Staff had built positive caring relationships with people they supported and their families.

Care plans adopted a person-centred method of supporting people. Information focused on what support was required and people or their representatives had consented to receive support from Heart of the South.

People supported by the service told us they were treated with respect and by caring staff. Comments included, “They have been so supportive of me and making sure my needs are met” and “Having the support here means I can stay in my own house. I feel very well cared for”

Staff were motivated by and proud of the service. One staff member said, "I just feel we do a great job and it means clients don’t have to go into a care setting.” There was an emphasis on continuous improvement with staff having the opportunity to gain additional qualifications. A staff member said, “We are really encouraged to do more training. The managers are behind us in that.”

Staff had opportunities to raise concerns or suggestions and be involved in the development of the service.

The service worked in partnership with other organisations to ensure they followed good practice and people in their care were safe.

The registered manager and management team used a variety of methods to assess and monitor the quality of the service. These included staff meetings, spot checks, auditing of the service and surveys to seek people’s views about the service provided.

Rating at last inspection: Good. The last inspection report was published 7 October 2016.

Why we inspected: This was a planned inspection based on the rating at the last inspection. The service remains Good.

Follow up: Going forward we will continue to monitor this service and plan to inspect in line with our inspection schedule for those services rated Good.

Inspection carried out on 23 September 2015

During a routine inspection

Heart of the South is a small domiciliary care agency which provides support to people in their own homes in Cornwall. At the time of our inspection Heart of the South was providing support to three people. The level of care and support varied from domiciliary support to a complex care package.

This inspection took place on 23 September 2015. The inspection visit was announced 24 hours in advance in accordance with the Care Quality Commission’s current procedures for inspecting domiciliary care services. The service was previously inspected in August 2014 when it was found to comply with the requirements of regulations.

There was a registered manager in post. 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.

People told us they felt safe and secure when receiving care. People received consistent support from care workers who knew them well and that they received care and support from regular carers. People told us, “[Staff member] makes me feel safe. [Staff member] cares for me very well and comes on time every day” and “Staff were like a second family”.

Care plans were available for all of the people who received care and support from Heart of the South. Each person’s care plan was up to date and included sufficient information to enable staff to meet people’s care needs. One staff member said, “The information we get is very good. We also get training in areas where there are special requirements”. People’s feedback was valued by the service. The most recent survey confirmed peoples experience in receiving care and support was positive.

Staff had a full understanding of the specialist care and support people required. Training and support for staff was happening on a regular basis and focused on the specialist needs of people using the agency.

Staff told us they were supported by the registered manager. Staff said, “I meet up with the manager every month. If we feel we need to share more information we have a staff meeting”.

Recruitment systems were robust by carrying out pre-employment checks. Staff received a full induction to understand their role and to ensure they had the skills to meet people’s specific needs. This helped ensure people received care and support from staff who were competent and well matched to the role.

Audit systems were in place to monitor and manage how care and support was being delivered and took account of accidents and incidents, as well concerns and complaints. The systems in place acted as early indicators of themes or trends which might affect individuals using the service or staff supporting people.

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

Inspection carried out on 2 September 2014

During an inspection to make sure that the improvements required had been made

We carried out this inspection to check if the compliance action set at our inspection on 12 June 2014, in relation to care plans, risk assessments and staff supervisions had been met. During this inspection we did not receive any information from people who used the service.

At this inspection, because we only looked at care records, risk assessments and supervision records, we were unable to answer all of our five questions. Is the service caring? Is the service responsive? Is the service safe? Is the service effective? Is the service well led?

Below is a summary of what we found. If you wish to see the evidence supporting our summary please read the full report.

From a records perspective we were able to make a judgement that Heart of the South was a safe, effective and responsive service in respect of the areas we looked at.

We looked at two people’s care plans to check they had been developed in line with Heart of the South’s policy. We found the plans were well laid out informative. We also looked at risk assessments for two people. We found these were individualised and gave clear guidance for staff to help ensure people were protected from personal and environmental risk.

We looked at supervision records for three members of staff. We saw supervisions were occurring regularly.

Inspection carried out on 12 June 2014

During a routine inspection

We gathered evidence against the outcomes we inspected to help answer our five key questions: Is the service safe? Is the service effective? Is the service caring? Is the service responsive? Is the service well led?

Below is a summary of what we found. The summary is based on our observations during the inspection, speaking with people using the service, the staff supporting them and from looking at records.

If you want to see the evidence supporting our summary please read the full report.

Is the service safe?

During our inspection of Heart of the South we saw evidence to support a judgement that this service was safe.

People were treated with dignity and respect by the staff.

People were safe because staff knew what to do when safeguarding concerns were raised and they followed guidance. However appropriate risk assessments were not always in place.

Heart of the South had policies in place to help minimise against the risk of abuse including financial abuse.

We saw that Heart of the South understood the legal requirements laid down by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the associated Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

Is the service effective?

During our inspection of Heart of the South we saw evidence to support a judgement that this service was effective. However support for staff required improvement.

There was no effective programme of supervision in place.

We saw people were supported to live their lives as independently as possible and in the way they chose. People’s needs, choices and preferences were recorded and taken into account when planning and delivering care.

Staff and the person using the service told us the care and support was personalised.

Newly recruited staff did not offer unsupervised care until they and the manager were confident they could do so.

People were protected from the risk of poor nutrition because food charts had been implemented and were being kept appropriately.

Is the service caring?

During our inspection of Heart of the South we saw evidence to support a judgement that this service was caring.

The person we spoke with who was using the service was positive about the care and support they received.

Heart of the South were proactive in gathering the views of people using the service and ensuring people were confident to contact the office with any concerns.

Is the service responsive?

During our inspection of Heart of the South we saw evidence to support a judgement that this service was responsive.

Care was personalised and arranged to suit the needs and preferences of the person.

Consent to care and support was actively sought out and recorded appropriately.

Is the service well-led?

During our inspection of Heart of the South we saw evidence to support a judgement that this service was well-led.

Communication between management, staff and people using the service was good. All stakeholders told us there was an open culture and management was approachable and supportive.

Quality assurance systems were in place to monitor the service being provided. Care reviews had been held to ensure the care and support provided was still meeting the needs of the person.