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Inspection carried out on 1 October 2019

During a routine inspection

About the service

Merlin Park is a residential care home providing personal care to people aged 65 and over. At the time of the inspection, there were 25 people being supported some of whom were living with dementia or other cognitive impairments. The service is registered to support up to 25 people.

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

There were enough staff available to support people. The environment was clean and people had access to appropriate equipment where needed. Risks to people and the environment were managed safely. People could be confident they were supported by staff who had access to appropriate guidance and understood how to keep them safe. Staff’s knowledge of the people they supported was good and they were able to tell us about the risks associated with their care and how to minimise these. Medicines were administered safely and as prescribed.

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. Staff had received appropriate training and support to enable them to carry out their role safely. They received regular supervision to help develop their skills and support them in their role.

People's needs were met in an individual and personalised way by staff who were kind, caring and responsive to their changing needs. We observed staff respecting people's privacy and protecting their dignity. People and their families were involved in the development of personalised care plans that were reviewed regularly. People were offered and took part in a range of meaningful activities. People felt listened to and knew how to raise concerns.

The provider had effective systems and processes to monitor quality within the home. The manager understood their regulatory responsibilities and shared information with stakeholders in a timely way. People, their families, staff and external professionals all told us that the manager and provider were very supportive, and the home was well led.

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 26 April 2017).

Why we inspected: This was a planned inspection based on the previous rating. However, before the inspection we had received some information of concern relating to the care people received. We looked at these issues during this inspection. We found no evidence during this inspection that people were at risk of harm from this concern.

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.

Inspection carried out on 24 March 2017

During a routine inspection

We carried out an unannounced inspection of this home on 24 March 2017. The home is registered to provide accommodation and personal care for up to 25 older people, some of whom live with dementia. Accommodation is arranged over two floors with lift and stair access to the second floor. At the time of our inspection 25 people lived at the home.

At our last inspection of the service in November 2014 the service was rated as Good. At this inspection we found the service remained Good.

A registered manager was 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 supported by staff who had a good understanding of how to keep them safe, identify signs of abuse and report these appropriately. Robust processes to check the suitability of staff to work with people were in place. There were sufficient staff available to meet the needs of people and they received appropriate training and support to ensure people were cared for in line with their needs and preferences.

Medicines were administered, stored and ordered in a safe and effective way.

Risks associated with people’s care were identified and clear plans of care were in place to ensure staff knew how to mitigate these risks. Staff had a very good understanding of these risks and how to ensure the safety and welfare of people. Incidents and accidents were clearly documented and investigated and patterns in these events were noted and actions and learning were identified from these.

People were encouraged and supported to make decisions about their care and welfare. Where people were unable to consent to their care the provider was guided by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Where people were legally deprived of their liberty to ensure their safety, appropriate guidance had been followed.

People received nutritious meals in line with their needs and preferences. Those who required specific dietary requirements for a health need were supported to manage these.

People’s privacy and dignity was maintained and staff were caring and considerate as they supported people. People were encouraged to share their views of the home at meetings and through questionnaires.

Care plans in place reflected people’s identified needs and risks associated with these.

Staff were caring and compassionate and knew people in the home well. External health and social care professionals spoke highly of the care and support people received at he home. They were involved in the care of people and care plans reflected this.

Effective systems were in place to monitor and evaluate any concerns or complaints received and to ensure learning outcomes or improvements were identified from these. Staff encouraged people and their relatives to share their concerns and experiences with them.

The registered manager was on leave at the time of our inspection but attended the service to support the deputy manager. People, their visitors and staff told us the registered manager was very visible in the service and provided strong and effective leadership. They promoted an ethos of open and honest communication within the home. Staff felt respected and valued in the home and this was reflected in the way they supported each other and promoted person centred and efficient care for people.

A robust system of audits was in place at the home to ensure the safety and welfare of people.

Inspection carried out on 5 November 2014

During a routine inspection

This inspection took place on 5 November 2014. It was unannounced.

Merlin Park is a residential care home which does not provide nursing care. It is registered for 25 people, and at the time of our inspection was fully occupied. Twenty-three people were living with dementia and two had a mental health condition. People were accommodated on two floors. Shared areas comprised a dining area, a television lounge and a quiet lounge. There was an enclosed garden which was accessed from the television lounge.

There was 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’s relatives were confident their loved ones were safe and well looked after. They said staff were “up front and honest with us”. They told us they always found the home to be clean and well maintained and there were enough staff to support people safely. We found people were protected against the risk of avoidable harm and abuse, and against risks associated with medicines.

People told us they were happy to be living there. They were supported effectively by caring and competent staff. They were satisfied with their rooms and with the food. Care and support were provided with people’s consent or appropriate processes were followed where people lacked capacity to make specific decisions.

The Care Quality Commission monitors the operation of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards which apply to care homes. We found the provider had suitable procedures in place to safeguard people against the risk of being unlawfully deprived of their liberty.

There was a friendly, cheerful and open atmosphere at the home. Staff supported people in a caring manner to be as independent as possible and in ways that preserved their dignity and privacy. People were able to make choices about how they lived.

People had opportunities to take part in appropriate activities if they wished to do so. Staff responded to people’s preferences and changing needs, and adapted their care and support accordingly.

A visiting healthcare professional said it was always a pleasure to visit the home. Staff were motivated to provide the required standard of care. The manager communicated values of individuality, respect, independence and a zero tolerance of abuse. They monitored the quality of the service they delivered. They took action when needed to maintain standards and improve the quality of the service.

Inspection carried out on 1 October 2013

During a routine inspection

During this visit we spoke with two people who used the service, one relative, four care staff and the manager.

One person told us "I try to do things for myself, what I cannot do, staff help me with. Staff are very helpful". They said that they could choose how they spent their day. This meant that staff respected people's decisions and choices. Another person told us how good the service was and that they were happy living there.

The relative we spoke with said that "staff were attentive to the needs of their mother". They said that the family were fully involved in developing her mother's care plan and that they were very happy with the service.

We sampled three care plans. We saw that care plans were individualised and detailed the support and care each person required. People had signed their care plans where applicable.

People we spoke with said they felt safe in the home and said they were confident that staff would respond appropriately to any concerns they raised.

Inspection carried out on 6 November 2012

During a routine inspection

Merlin Park is a home for older people and they are registered for up to 25 people. On the day we inspected there were 23 people living at the home the majority of whom had memory impairment and or a mental health problem. During our inspection we spoke with six staff and three people who use the service.

As not everyone who lived at Merlin Park was able to tell us what they thought about the care and support provided, we used the Short Observational Framework for Inspection (SOFI). SOFI is a specific way of observing care to help us understand the experience of people who could not talk with us.

We spent time in their company in the lounge / dining area observing the support people received before and during their meal. We saw that the staff were friendly and respectful and that they were quick to respond if anyone appeared unhappy or distressed. We observed people receiving assistance and support in a timely manner and people were spoken to in a respectful manner.

Comments from staff included �We are a good team, we work together well�. �We have everything we need to be able to care for people living here at Merlin Park�.