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Inspection Summary


Overall summary & rating

Good

Updated 10 January 2017

This inspection took place on 5, 6, 13 and 19 October 2016. The provider was given 48 hours' notice to make sure someone would be in. The last inspection was carried out on 21 November 2013. The service met the regulations we inspected at that time.

Star House is a short break service for children and young people up to the age of 18 who have learning disabilities, physical disabilities and/or complex health needs who require nursing or personal care. It is a fully accessible single storey building with gardens and can accommodate seven children. There were six children using the service when we visited. Care is provided to around 45 children each year with each child receiving around 70 overnight stays per year.

The service is also registered with Ofsted. Ofsted last carried out a full inspection in October 2016 when the service was rated outstanding.

The service had a registered manager. 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.

Children and young people had access to a wonderful range of age appropriate activities, some of which they could not access at home. Facilities at the service included a soft play area, sensory/relaxation room, ball pool, toy room, computer and television room, sensory garden, allotment area, basketball court and trampoline. During our inspection each child was doing what they wanted with staff support. Staff did not view the complex needs of the children and young people as a barrier to them participating in similar activities to those of their peers.

Staff had an excellent understanding of the needs of the children and young people who used the service. Children and young people were supported to maintain their privacy and dignity by very compassionate staff. Children and young people were extremely comfortable with staff and there was a welcoming and homely atmosphere at the service.

There were very positive relationships between the families, children and staff that supported them. Staff had been creative in considering new ways to support families of children and young people.

Relatives we spoke with felt staff were very caring. One relative told us, “They are very caring and compassionate.” Another relative said, “The staff are lovely and so devoted and they really, really care about the role.”

Relatives spoke positively about the support they received from staff. One relative said, “They have given me emotional support when I needed it, they made time for me and were a friendly voice at the end of the phone.”

Relatives we spoke with felt the service was safe for children and young people. One relative commented, “As a parent I don’t have to worry a bit about them going there, I never have and it’s such a relaxed environment that I can ring every night. This allows me to switch off if I need to.” Another relative said, “I’m really happy with the service and so is my child.”

Relatives told us how the service had made a huge impact on their children by giving them the confidence to be themselves and allowing them to be children and young people.

Risks to young people's health and safety were recorded in care files. These included risk assessments about young people’s individual care needs such as using specialist equipment pressure damage and nutrition. The environment was clean and well maintained.

Medicines were managed safely. There was a clear system in place to book medicines into the service when a child or young person was admitted for a short break. There was clear guidance in place for ‘as and when required’ medicines, for example if a child or young person needed pain relief.

Children and young people who used the service were supported by staff that were trained and knowledgeable. Relatives we spoke with described staff at Star House as competent and capable. One relative said, “Staff know what they are doing, they know the kids and interact well with them.”

A staff member told us, “The training we receive is excellent.

Care records contained detailed information and guidance about how to support young people based on their individual health needs, social needs and preferences. The support guidance in care records also included information about how much staff support young people required and how staff could promote young people's independence.

Staff at the service worked closely with other teams to enable a smooth transition from children's services to adult services. The service employed a dedicated transition worker which meant there was a single point of contact for families.

Relatives and staff spoke positively about the registered manager (clinical lead) and the management team as a whole. A relative told us, “[Registered manager] is really good. I know they’re always on the end of the phone.” Another relative said, “The management are very hands-on, definitely easy to talk to.”

The management team ensured the quality of the service was continually assessed and monitored by carrying out monthly audits of all aspects of the care provided.

There were systems in place to gather feedback from relatives and health and social care professionals. An annual survey had just been issued.

There was a positive culture and ethos at the service which was driven by the management team. They were clear that the aim of the service was the wellbeing of the children and young people. Staff took pride in telling us they treated each child or young person as an individual and we saw this put into practice.

Inspection areas

Safe

Good

Updated 10 January 2017

The service was safe.

Staff knew how to recognise and report abuse.

Comprehensive checks were carried out on all staff before they started work at the service. There were enough staff to make sure children and young people had the care and support they needed.

Risks to children and young people were identified and managed in order to keep them safe.

Effective

Good

Updated 10 January 2017

The service was effective.

Children and young people’s healthcare needs were monitored and the service liaised with other healthcare professionals where appropriate.

Staff training in a range of key and specialist areas was up to date.

Staff received regular supervision and an annual appraisal to support their learning and development.

Caring

Good

Updated 10 January 2017

The service was caring.

Children and young people were extremely comfortable with staff and there was a welcoming and homely atmosphere at the service.

Children were supported to maintain their privacy and dignity by very compassionate staff.

There were very positive relationships between the families, children and staff that supported them.

Responsive

Outstanding

Updated 10 January 2017

The service was exceptionally responsive.

Staff did not view the complex needs of the children and young people as a barrier to them participating in similar activities to those of their peers.

Relatives told us how the service had made a huge impact on their children by giving them the confidence to be themselves and allowing them to be children and young people, which enhanced their well-being and quality of life.

Staff had been creative in considering new ways to support families of children and young people.

Well-led

Good

Updated 10 January 2017

The service was well-led.

Relatives and staff told us the registered manager was approachable.

There was a positive culture and ethos at the service which was driven by the management team.

There were effective systems in place to monitor the quality of the service.