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

Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 16 February 2016

We carried out an unannounced inspection of Heyhead House on the 7 and 8 January 2016. Heyhead House is registered to provide accommodation and personal care for eight adults who have a Learning Disability. The service is situated in Brierfield, Nelson in Lancashire.

The service was last inspected in July 2013 and was found compliant in all areas inspected.

At the time of this inspection there was a registered manager employed. 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.

Throughout this inspection we received positive feedback from people who used the service, visitors and community professionals. People expressed satisfaction with the service provided and spoke very highly of the staff that supported them. Comments included, “Staff are nice, they are kind to me” and “I love it here. It’s been the best place I have worked in”.

We saw the service had robust processes and procedures in place to maintain a safe environment for people using the service, staff and visitors. Detailed and up to date health and safety checks were in place covering areas such portable electrical equipment, heating and security of the building. Audits of equipment and furnishings were completed on a monthly basis. We saw the service had a robust fire procedure and each person living at the service had a personal evacuation plan.

People indicated they felt safe living at the home. Safeguarding referral procedures were in place and staff had a good understanding around recognising the signs of abuse. All staff had undertaken safeguarding training and demonstrated good knowledge around this subject.

Over the two days of the inspection we found the service had adequate staffing levels. We reviewed staffing rotas and noted very little staff sickness. People indicated their needs were met appropriately. Staff told us they did not feel rushed with their daily routine and this enabled them to spend time conversing with people. We observed regular staff interaction to support this.

We found an overall good recruitment system in place and a thorough induction process for all new staff.

Processes were in place for the appropriate administration of medication. Staff were adequately trained. We saw individual risk assessments in people’s files to support the safe management of medication administration.

We saw the service had created detailed individual risk assessments for all people using the service. These risk assessments included diet and nutrition, mobility and positive risk taking.

We saw detailed care plans which gave clear information about people's needs, wishes, feelings and health conditions. These were reviewed monthly and more often when needed by the registered manager.

We saw evidence of detailed training programmes for staff. All carers had a Level 2 or above NVQ (National Vocational Qualification). People we spoke to indicated that staff had the correct knowledge and skill base to effectively support people with a learning disability.

Staff spoken with were aware of the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). These provide legal safeguards for people who may be unable to make their own decisions. The manager also demonstrated their knowledge about the process to follow should it be necessary to place any restrictions on a person who uses the service in their best interests. At the time of inspection we found that no person using the service was subject to DoLS.

We saw that people's nutritional requirements were being met and choices were offered throughout the day around meals. We observed people making themselves snacks and drinks throughout the day and contributing to the preparation of meals. We saw the food was freshly prepared and served at a suitable temperature. We noted appropriate referrals had been made to dieticians and instructions were strictly followed in cases where people had known dietary requirements.

We saw positive staff interaction and engagement with people using the service. Staff addressed people in a respectful and caring manner. The service had a calm and warm atmosphere. We observed people laughing and conversing. One person told us “The staff are my friends”.

People using the service indicated they were happy with the service. We saw positive feedback from people using the service by means of ‘service user questionnaires’ and feedback at service user meetings. We also noted positive feedback from relatives and staff about the registered manager. People told us they were happy to approach management with any concerns or questions. We saw evidence that an open door policy was followed.

Inspection areas



Updated 16 February 2016

The service was safe

People indicated they felt safe. They were supported by care staff who were considered to be of good character and had been recruited through a thorough and robust procedure.

The service had detailed environmental risk assessments and procedures and had adequate processes in place to ensure these were reviewed effectively.

Staff were aware of their duty and responsibility to protect people from abuse and were aware of safeguarding procedures to follow if they suspected any abusive or neglectful practice.

Risks to the health, safety and wellbeing of people who used the service were assessed effectively and there was good guidance in place for staff about how to support people in a safe manner.



Updated 16 February 2016

The service was effective.

Systems were in place to ensure staff were sufficiently trained. Staff received a robust and detailed induction period prior to commencing employment.

Staff and management had an understanding of best interest's decisions and the MCA 2005 legislation.

Supervision and appraisal was carried out effectively and in line with the service policy requirements.

People's health and wellbeing was consistently monitored and they were supported to access healthcare services when necessary.



Updated 16 February 2016

The service was caring.

People indicated they were treated with kindness and their privacy and dignity was respected by staff.

People's care and support was provided according to their wishes and preferences. Staff were knowledgeable about people's individual needs.

People were involved in decisions around their day to day lives. People and their families were involved in the care planning process and were invited to care reviews.



Updated 16 February 2016

The service was responsive.

People told us they enjoyed living at the service.

Care records were detailed and clear. Care was adapted to meet people's individual needs and requirements.

People felt able to raise concerns and had confidence in the registered manager to address their concerns appropriately.

There was a good range of activities offered and people were encouraged to take part in activities of their choice.



Updated 16 February 2016

The service was well-led.

The service had a registered manager employed who was registered with the Care Quality Commission and was qualified to undertake the role.

The registered manager monitored the quality of the service provided through audits, observation and gathering feedback from people who used the service, staff and visitors.

Staff told us they felt well supported by the registered manager in their role and were able to approach her with any issues. The registered manager operated an open door policy.