Improvement needed, but care is rated good

Bell View Help at Home is one of the social-care businesses run by charity Bell View.
Bell View Help at Home is one of the social-care businesses run by charity Bell View.

A north Northumberland home-care provider has been told by the regulator that it needs to improve its service.

A report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published at the end of January after an inspection in October gives Bell View Help at Home an overall rating of requires improvement.

Looking at the CQC’s five inspection areas, the service was rated as requires improvement for four of them – being safe, effective, responsive and well-led, but it received a good rating for being caring.

The inspection report said: ‘People described the service as ‘consistent’ and ‘reliable’ and told us their care was delivered by a small team of staff who knew their needs well. People told us they knew how to complain, but had no cause to.

‘The system to monitor the quality of the service provided was not robust. Audits had not been carried out by the registered manager. The provider had carried out some quality assurance checks and taken steps to improve the service, however, issues identified by the provider in June 2016 still remained at the time of this inspection.’

One of the directors, Terry Stevenson, said: “Bell View Help at Home is a highly-regarded, successful, locally-based, expanding home-care business.

“The CQC inspection took place nearly four months ago and some shortcomings with administrative procedures were highlighted, which have been addressed and are continuing to be addressed.

“From the outset, the care we provide has been rated as good – the service is described as reliable and consistent.

“The directors of the business are looking forward to continued expansion in the future.”

Some comments from service users include ‘I couldn’t wish for nicer staff’, ‘I’m spoken to nicely. They treat me with dignity’ and ‘I’m very lucky, I couldn’t ask for more’.

Christine Harris, chairman of the board of trustees for the charity Bell View, said: “The trustees were always keen to go with this (a home-care service) and it is challenging in the rural areas, but it very much fits in with the ethos of the charity.”