• Care Home
  • Care home

Howlish Hall Residential Care Home

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

Howlish, Coundon, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL14 8ED (01388) 741792

Provided and run by:
Williams & Spenceley Limited

Latest inspection summary

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Background to this inspection

Updated 5 August 2022

The inspection

We carried out this inspection under Section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (the Act) as part of our regulatory functions. We checked whether the provider was meeting the legal requirements and regulations associated with the Act. We looked at the overall quality of the service and provided a rating for the service under the Care Act 2014.

As part of this inspection we looked at the infection control and prevention measures in place. This was conducted so we can understand the preparedness of the service in preventing or managing an infection outbreak, and to identify good practice we can share with other services.

Inspection team

One inspector and an Expert by Experience carried out this inspection. An Expert by Experience is a person who has personal experience of using or caring for someone who uses this type of care service.

Service and service type

Howlish Hall Residential Care Home is a ‘care home’. People in care homes receive accommodation and nursing or personal care as a single package under one contractual agreement. CQC regulates both the premises and the care provided, and both were looked at during this inspection.

The service had a manager registered with the Care Quality Commission. This means that they and the provider are legally responsible for how the service is run and for the quality and safety of the care provided.

Notice of inspection

This inspection was unannounced.

What we did before the inspection

We reviewed information we had received about the service since the last inspection. We sought feedback from the local authority and professionals who work with the service. The provider was not asked to complete a provider information return prior to this inspection. This is information we require providers to send us to give some key information about the service, what the service does well and improvements they plan to make. We took this into account when we inspected the service and made the judgements in this report. We used all this information to plan our inspection.

During the inspection

We spoke with two people who used the service and seven relatives about their experience of the care provided. We spoke with three members of staff, the registered manager, the administrator and maintenance worker. We reviewed a range of records. These included two people’s care records and six people’s medication records. We looked at staff records in relation to recruitment and other records relating to the management of the service, including; audits, policies and procedures and quality assurance records.

Overall inspection


Updated 5 August 2022

About the service

Howlish Hall Residential Care is a residential care home providing accommodation and personal care to 28 older people at the time of our inspection. The service can support up to 40 people in one adapted building over two floors.

People’s experience of using this service and what we found

We found that some of the windows at the home were not in line with health and safety regulations and needed immediate attention. We have made a recommendation regarding this. The registered manager and provider took immediate action following our inspection. People and their relatives told us they were safe and felt safe living at Howlish Hall residential care home and they were happy with their care and support.

People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests, the policies and systems in the service supported this practice.

Medicines were administered safely and records regarding people’s medicines were completed effectively.

Infection prevention control practices were in place. All essential visitors had to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Additional cleaning of all areas and frequent touch surfaces was in place and recorded regularly by staff. Training included putting on and taking off PPE, hand hygiene and other COVID-19 related training.

There were systems in place for communicating with people, their relatives and staff regarding peoples care and support. The environment was clean, safe and maintained to a good standard. It was also adapted to meet people’s needs.

Individualised risk assessments were in place to ensure people could take risks safely. Staff were confident about how to raise concerns to safeguard people. Robust recruitment and selection procedures ensured suitable staff were employed.

For more details, please see the full report which is on the CQC website at www.cqc.org.uk

Rating at last inspection

The last rating for this service was good (published 8 June 2021).

Why we inspected

This was a planned inspection based on the previous rating.

We looked at infection prevention and control measures under the Safe key question. We look at this in all care home inspections even if no concerns or risks have been identified. This is to provide assurance that the service can respond to COVID-19 and other infection outbreaks effectively.

For those key questions not inspected, we used the ratings awarded at the last inspection to calculate the overall rating.

We have made a recommendation about ensuring all windows at the home are in line with health and safety regulations.

Follow up

We will continue to monitor information we receive about the service until we return to visit as per our re-inspection programme. If we receive any concerning information we may inspect sooner.