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Inspection carried out on 29 June 2016

During a routine inspection

This inspection took place on 29 June 2016 and was unannounced.

Abbottswood Lodge provides residential care and support for up to 22 adults with a learning disability. At the time of our inspection, 20 people were living in the home.

The service had 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 safe in the home. Staff understood the safeguarding processes and knew what constituted abuse. Staff knew how to keep people safe and reported any issues of concern appropriately. Risk assessments were clear and detailed and reviewed regularly. Staff followed guidance and protocols that were in place to help reduce the risks for people. People received their medication on time and in the manner the prescriber intended.

There were enough staff to meet people’s needs properly and the staff on duty had the skills and knowledge to support people effectively and meet their needs in a timely manner. Appropriate and safe recruitment practices were followed, to help make sure staff were suitable to work with people in a care environment.

Staff received good support from each other as well as from the manager and deputy. Staff were regularly supervised and the management team was hands on and approachable.

The CQC is required to monitor the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and report on what we find. The manager ensured the service operated in accordance with the MCA and DoLS procedures and staff demonstrated a clear understanding of the MCA, DoLS, capacity and consent. People were supported to make their own decisions and choices as much as possible.

People received enough food and drink to meet their individual needs and staff had a good understanding and knowledge of people’s dietary needs. Referrals to healthcare professionals were made promptly as needed and any advice or guidance given was followed appropriately by staff. There was also consistent monitoring and appropriate communication by staff, regarding people’s healthcare needs and any changes.

People were fully involved, where possible, in planning and reviewing their own care and staff appropriately supported people, when necessary, to make informed choices for themselves.

Staff were kind, caring and compassionate. People were treated with dignity and respect and their privacy was upheld. People were also supported and encouraged to do as much for themselves as possible, in order to enhance and maintain their independence. When people reached an ‘end of life’ phase, they received personalised care that maintained their dignity and still included them in day to day life in the home.

People took part in activities of their choosing and followed their own hobbies and interests, inside and outside of the home. Visitors were always welcomed without unnecessary restrictions and people’s personal relationships were valued and respected. People were listened to and comments or complaints were welcome. Any complaints were fully investigated and actions taken to improve the quality of care provided.

The service maintained strong links with the community. There were effective systems in place to monitor the quality of the service and these were used to develop the service further. Staff and people living in the home were regularly involved in making decisions on how the home was run. Record keeping and management systems were up to date, with effective auditing and follow up procedures in place. An open and inclusive culture was demonstrated in Abbottswood Lodge, with clear and positive leadership evident.

Inspection carried out on 28 February 2014

During a routine inspection

We met, observed and spoke with a number of people who were living in Abbottswood Lodge during this inspection. Our discussions and observations led us to conclude that people were comfortable, happy and relaxed.

One person we spoke with told us, “I’m really happy here, I like it.” Another person said of the staff, “They’re good.” Two other people we spoke with told us that they felt well supported by the staff and that they felt safe living in Abbottswood Lodge.

Four people we spoke with all said that the food was ‘nice’. One person said, “I like sponge cake.” We saw that people were frequently offered drinks, especially those who were unable to make drinks for themselves. We also saw that picture menus were used to help people make informed choices.

Three staff answered questions we asked about safeguarding and possible abuse. They were very clear in their answers regarding what they felt would be inappropriate in the way staff supported people living in the home. All three staff were also very clear that they would report anything they felt was wrong.

Three members of staff on duty during this inspection confirmed that they had completed an induction and were supported well by their manager. All three staff stated that they were happy in their work, felt confident and knew the people well that they supported.

One person told us, “The staff are very good here and I like [the manager]. I can talk to them anytime, when I need to.”

Inspection carried out on 14 March 2013

During a routine inspection

We used a number of different methods to help us understand the experiences of people living in Abbottswood Lodge. This was because some people had more complex needs and were not able to specifically tell us about their experiences. However, the four people we spoke with said they were happy and that the staff were good.

One person told us that they were, “Very happy” living in the home. They also told us that they liked their bedroom and enjoyed cooking, which they were enabled to do. Another person told us that they enjoyed going to a weekly club and also swimming.

Two of the people we met and spoke with told us that the staff supported them well. We observed that staff spoke respectfully with people and included them in conversations and friendly banter.

Throughout the duration of our inspection, we found the atmosphere in Abbottswood Lodge to be calm and relaxed and the people we observed appeared comfortable and content.

One person told us that the home had fetes in the garden each year, which everyone enjoyed. This person also told us: "I get on well with all the staff. I talk to the staff about my family and sometimes things I worry about and they always listen."

Three members of staff responded to questions we asked and each person confirmed that they were happy in their work, felt confident in the work they carried out and knew the people well who lived in Abbottswood Lodge.

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

We did not revisit the service when we completed this review. We used information the manager sent to us after our last visit, to look at the improvements that had been made.

Inspection carried out on 5 October 2011

During a routine inspection

Most of the people present in the home during our visit were not able to speak with us to explain what they thought about the service. Those who could speak with us told us they enjoyed the meals they had in the home. Some had also enjoyed an outing to Cromer on the day of our visit.

Because lots of people could not speak with us, we spent time seeing how staff worked and interacted with people.

Reports under our old system of regulation (including those from before CQC was created)