You are here

We are carrying out checks at Birch Abbey using our new way of inspecting services. We will publish a report when our check is complete.

Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 18 May 2016

This unannounced inspection took place on 6 and 7 January 2016 and 14 April 2016.

This inspection was also to follow up on the concerns which were identified in a previous inspection on 16 & 17 June 2015. The home was rated as ‘requires improvement’ overall. The provider sent us a plan following this inspection of actions they were going to take to ensure the breaches were met. We found during this inspection that the provider had met these breaches.

Birch Abbey is a care home providing personal and nursing care. It can accommodate up to 60 older people. The home specialises in caring for people with dementia. The home is owned by Melton Health Care Ltd. The accommodation is purpose built and planned over four floors. It is located in a residential area close to Southport town centre.

Processes relating to the safe administration of medications were in place within the home. We observed people being given their medications appropriately.

People and relatives we spoke with told us they felt safe living at the home.

Risk assessments were in place and personalised. These were reviewed on a regular basis for any change.

The staff we spoke with were aware of what constituted abuse and how to report an alleged incident.

Recruitment procedures were robust to ensure staff were suitable to work with vulnerable people. Systems were in place to maintain the safety of the home. This included health and safety checks of the equipment and building

Most staff had regular supervision and appraisal. We saw a plan in place to ensure this took place with the remaining staff in the next few weeks.

People had a plan of care in place which was personalised and contained information such as their likes, dislikes and backgrounds. As well as other information relevant to their needs ensuring they got the care which was right for them.

The registered manager and the staff had knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act (2005) and their roles and responsibilities linked to this.

The home had aids and equipment to meet people’s needs and staff would encourage people to do things for themselves when it was appropriate to promote their independence.

We found the home to be clean, spacious and well decorated. The provider was in the process of making even more improvement to the home’s already ‘dementia friendly environment’.

Food was fresh and home cooked. Everyone we spoke with told us that they enjoyed the food and got enough to eat and drink.

Staff referred to outside professionals promptly for advice and support.

A process was in place for managing complaints and the home’s complaints procedure was available so people had access to this information.

People and relatives were complimentary about the manager even though they had not been in post for very long.

Staff were aware of the home’s whistleblowing policy and told us they would not hesitate to report any concerns or bad practice.

Systems were in place to monitor the standard of the service and drive forward improvements. This included a number of audits for different areas of practice, and clear and transparent action plans when areas of improvement were identified by the audit process.

Inspection areas



Updated 18 May 2016

The service was safe.

The service had measures in place to ensure medications were managed safely.

Risk assessments were in place for people who required them and covered all aspects of their personal safety.

Appropriate checks were carried out on staff before they started working in the home.

Staff understood their role in relation to safeguarding and knew what steps to take if they thought someone was being abused.



Updated 18 May 2016

The service was effective.

Staff sought the consent of people before providing care and support. The home followed the principles of the Mental Capacity Act (2005) for people who lacked mental capacity to make their own decisions.

People got plenty to eat and drink, and we received positive comments about the food.

Staff were trained and we saw supervisions were scheduled to be completed in the next few weeks.

People received access to health professionals when they needed too.



Updated 18 May 2016

The service was caring.

We received positive comments about the caring nature of the staff.

People who lived at the home told us that the staff respected their privacy and treated them with respect.



Updated 18 May 2016

The service was responsive.

Care plans were personalised and contained information about people’s likes, dislikes and preferences.

There was a complaints procedure in place and it was accessible for people who lived at the home. People and their relatives told us that they knew how to complain.

There were activities and people could choose what they did with their time



Updated 18 May 2016

The service was well-led

The manager was in the process of registering with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

People and staff told us they felt the home was run well, and they liked the manager.

There were quality assurance systems in place, and people were regularly asked for feedback to help improve the service.

There was regular auditing taking place of care files, medication, and other documentation relating to the running of the service.