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Inspection carried out on 16 August 2016

During a routine inspection

This inspection was announced and took place on 16 August 2016. The provider was given 24 hours’ notice because the location provides a supported living and domiciliary care service and we needed to be sure the manager would be available for the inspection. It also allowed us to arrange to visit people in their own homes.

Able2Achieve provides personal care and support for people with a learning disability to move to more independent living. The care and support is provided for people living in supported living houses with shared occupancy and to people living in their own home in the Yeovil area. People who live in the shared supported living properties have individual tenancy agreements. At the time of the inspection they were providing personal care and support for 20 people. The level of personal care provided is minimal and most of the support they provide is about learning to live and work independently within society. We visited two supported living properties to meet people and to discuss the care they received. Four people agreed to talk with us at the supported living properties and three other people met us at the Able2Achieve office. We also observed how people interacted with staff and whether they were relaxed and happy.

This was the organisations first inspection since they registered the new office in April 2014.

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 were supported by sufficient numbers of staff who had a clear knowledge and understanding of their personal needs, likes and dislikes. We observed close relationships had been built with people. Staff had a very in-depth understanding of people’s needs and how they preferred to be supported both in their home and within the community. People were able to talk with senor staff in the office at any time as there was an open door policy and all staff in the office knew them well. People who received care and support from Able2Achieve told us they were happy with the service provided. They said the registered manager and staff were open and approachable and cared about their personal preferences and maintaining their independence. One person said, “They are all great I can talk to anyone at any time and nobody says go away.”

People told us they received care from learning support workers who were knowledgeable about their needs and were appropriately trained to meet them. Learning support workers had access to training specific to their roles and the needs of people, For example they had attended training in the use of alternative communication aids such as Makaton. Staff told us the training they received was good one staff member explained how they had received training specific to managing diabetes for one person. This enabled them to manage menu planning and a healthy diet.

People said they were cared for and supported by learning support workers who were polite, compassionate and caring. One person said, “They are all very kind to me and they care about what I want.” We observed they had a very relaxed and cheerful relationship with the learning support workers supporting them during our home visit and throughout the day.

People were protected from abuse because the provider had systems in place to ensure checks of new staffs characters and suitability to work with vulnerable adults were carried out. Staff had also received training in protecting vulnerable people from abuse.

People’s care needs were recorded and reviewed regularly with senior staff and the person receiving the care. All support plans included written consent to care if people agreed to sign. Learning support workers had comprehensive information and guidance in support plans to deliver consistent care the way people preferred. One staff member said, “The support plans are really good they are written with the person so they have a say in what they want.”

The registered manager and directors have a clear vision for the service. Their mission statement says, “Our mission is to enable personal achievement and progression by developing essential skills and self-confidence through learning, living and working.” Their core values are, “Opportunity, choice and respect.” These values and mission were reflected in the way staff talked about their roles and how they supported people. Staff were passionate about the way they promoted independence and supported people to develop and progress, building on confidence and meeting goals.

The service had a complaints policy and procedure that was included in people’s support plans. People said they were aware of the procedure and knew who they could talk with. People and staff said they felt confident they could raise concerns with the registered manager and they would be dealt with appropriately.

There were systems in place to monitor the care provided and people’s views and opinions were sought on a daily basis. Suggestions for change were listened to and actions taken to improve the service provided. All incidents and accidents were monitored, trends identified and learning shared with staff to put into practice.