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Inspection carried out on 6 September 2016

During a routine inspection

This announced inspection took place on 6 September 2016.

HELP Personal Services is a supported living service for five people with learning difficulties who live in a shared house. Whilst each person has a tenancy agreement for their individual en-suite room they share the communal areas of lounge, dining room, kitchen and gardens. There is also a communal bathroom that people can use. The service users usually eat their main meals together and share the cost of the food.

The service is not required to have a registered manager as it has an individual as the registered provider. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the CQC 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.

During our inspection we found that people were safe using the service. Staff were aware of the safeguarding process. Personalised risk assessments were in place to reduce the risk of harm to people, as were risk assessments in relation to the running of the service and the environment. These were reviewed regularly. There were effective processes in place to manage people’s medicines and referrals to other health and social care professionals had been made when appropriate to maintain people’s health and well-being.

There were enough skilled, qualified staff to meet people’s needs. Staffing levels fluctuated from day to day and was dependent on the activities being undertaken by people who used the service at any time. Robust recruitment and selection processes were in place and the provider had taken steps to ensure that staff were suitable to work with people who used the service. Staff were trained and supported by way of regular reviews of their experience and competency.

People or relatives acting on their behalf had been involved in determining their support needs and the way in which the support was to be provided. Their consent was gained before any support was provided and the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 were met. Where people did not have the mental capacity to make or understand decisions and nobody had legal authority to make them on their behalf, decisions were made that were in the person’s best interests. People and their relatives were involved in the regular review of their support needs.

People were supported to maintain their employment, interests and hobbies. They were encouraged to access the community and be involved in a number of social events. They were assisted to choose a healthy, nutritious diet and maintain a healthy weight.

There was an up to date complaints policy in place and a notice about the complaints system was on display in the service.

There was a very friendly, family atmosphere at the service. People, relatives and staff were able to make suggestions as to how the service was provided and developed. Staff worked as a team to provide the required support to people who used the service. An effective quality assurance system was in place.