The inspection took place on 27 March 2017 and was unannounced. This means the provider did not know we were coming. At the last inspection on 17 September 2015 we had asked the provider to make improvements to how medicines were managed. We received an action plan from the provider detailing how these improvements would be made and we found on this inspection that the legal requirements were met.
St Catherine's Care Home is a 45 bed care home that provides personal and nursing care to older people, including people with dementia. At the time of our inspection there were 42 people living at the home.
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.
People who used the service and relatives we spoke with consistently praised the skills of staff working in the home. One person living in the home told us, “I looked at a few homes before choosing this one and this was head and shoulders above the rest. Since moving in I have not been disappointed. The staff have been very supportive in helping me to settle.”
A relative summed up the views we consistently gained from all the relatives we spoke to by saying, “It was a huge comfort to us knowing (relative) was being cared for at this home and we will always be grateful for this and the way they were looked after in her final days, a rock of support every step of the way. This home makes a difference to people’s lives.”
People were supported with care and compassion and there was an ethos of care which was person-centred, valuing people as individuals. A relative told us, "I know my relative gets the very best care here. I'm 100% sure of that."
We found that this home was particularly effective in delivering quality care because of the emphasis it placed on building a really strong staff development programme. The provider valued their staff and saw them as an asset when delivering high quality care to people. Staff received extensive training and support to meet people's needs effectively.
Staff were well motivated and proud of the service. There was an emphasis on developing staff potential within a positive learning environment to create a high quality service. Staff had regular opportunities to reflect on their practice and to request any additional support or training. Staff were 'champions' in specialist areas and had received additional training and skills in their specific areas. Skills were then shared within the rest of the staff team to create more positive outcomes for people who used the service.
People were at the centre of care planning. People told us that they were made to feel in "control" from the time they first made the decision to move into the home. The staff knew the people they were supporting well and treated them in a respectful and friendly way. One person told us, “I get good support from all the staff, from the manager right through to the laundry staff and cooks.”
People were safe because risks had been identified and managed. All the staff in the home had completed training to give them the skills and knowledge to carry out their roles and to ensure people in the home were safe.
Systems were in place for the safe storage, administration and disposal of medicines. Records showed people received their medicines as prescribed and in their preferred manner.
People received on-going healthcare support from a range of both internal and external healthcare professionals and people’s health and nutrition were effectively monitored and responded to in line with nationally recognised practice. People were supported to eat a well-balanced diet and those who were at risk of malnutrition and/or dehydration had their food and fluid intake monitored. People told us of the high quality and range of the meals provided.
People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible; the policies and systems in the service support this practice.
The provider had a range of quality monitoring systems and had made improvements in response to people's feedback and audits. There was a strong commitment to deliver a high standard of personalised care and continued improvement based on the views of people who used the service and the enhancement of their lives. The staff team spoke positively about the support they received and were motivated and enthusiastic. Complaints were taken seriously, thoroughly investigated and lessons learnt from them.