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Inspection carried out on 14 March 2018

During a routine inspection

This inspection took place on 14 March 2018 and was unannounced. This meant the staff and provider did not know we would be visiting.

Ashleigh is a residential resource that is part of a specialist Further Education College for people with autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. People in care homes receive accommodation and nursing or personal care as single package under one contractual agreement. CQC regulates both the premises and the care provided, and both were looked at during this inspection.

The majority of people who live at the service are students at the college run by the organisation. They live in the service during term time and return home in the college holidays. The service also offers 2 adult social care placements and respite for one person.

The care home previously accommodated 18 people in one adapted building and was registered in 2011. At the time of inspection six people were using the service. The provider had recently applied to the Care Quality Commission and had re-registered to reduce the number of people who could be accommodated to a maximum of 10 people..

The provider was making changes to ensure the building complied to the model of care proposed from 2015 and 2016 guidance that people with learning disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorder which proposed smaller community based housing. The provider had reduced the numbers of people who could be accommodated at the service to 10 people. Building work was also taking place to create flats and bedsits for people who used the service. The care service had been developed and designed in line with best practice guidance. These values include choice, promotion of independence and inclusion. People with learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorder using the service can live as ordinary a life as any citizen.

Due to their health conditions and complex needs not all of the people who used the service were able to share their views about the support they received.

At our last inspection in November 2015 we rated the service good. At this inspection we found the evidence supported the rating of outstanding as the caring and well-led domain exceeded the fundamental standards.

A registered manager was in place. 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.

A chief executive was responsible for the running of the organisation. They supported the management team and represented their views during board meetings. Managers and staff across the organisation were encouraged to continue their professional development in order to progress and provide the best outcomes for people to facilitate this.

The chief executive and registered manager had a clear vision for the organisation and service which put people at the heart of it.

People were extremely well-cared for, relaxed and comfortable. Staff knew the people they were supporting very well and we observed that care was provided with great patience and kindness. The service went to great lengths to ensure people’s privacy and dignity were always respected. Everyone we spoke with complimented and praised the staff team and gave examples of the outstanding care that was delivered. Relative’s comments included, “Ashleigh has been providing person-centred care long before it became a buzz word.” “The care is outstanding.” “Staff go the extra mile, the staff team is well-established and they are very professional and enthusiastic” and “Ashleigh is brilliant.”

Staff were very well supported by the registered manager and senior management team. The registered manager had a clear vision for the service and its development. Staff were extremely knowledgeable about people's needs. They were enthusiastic a

Inspection carried out on 25 November 2015

During a routine inspection

This was an unannounced inspection carried out on 25 November 2015.

We last inspected Ashleigh in December 2013. At that inspection we found the service was meeting the legal requirements in force at the time.

Ashleigh is an 18 bedded service offering places to students with autism and other related conditions. It is registered for the regulated activity of accommodation for persons who require nursing or personal care. Nursing care is not provided.

A registered manager was in place. ‘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 protected as staff had received training about safeguarding and knew how to respond to any allegation of abuse. Staff were aware of the whistle blowing procedure which was in place to report concerns and poor practice.

Staff had received training and had a good understanding of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Best Interest Decision Making, where decisions were made on behalf of people who were unable to make decisions themselves. Other appropriate training was provided and staff were supervised and supported.

People received their medicines in a safe and timely way. People had access to health care professionals to make sure they received appropriate care and treatment. Staff followed advice given by professionals to make sure people received the care they needed.

People were supported to maintain some control in their lives. They were given information in a format that helped them to understand and encourage their involvement in every day decision making.

Staff knew the people they were supporting well. Care was provided with patience and kindness and people’s privacy and dignity were respected. Care plans were in place detailing how people wished to be supported and people were involved in making decisions about their care.

Staff said the manager was supportive and approachable. Communication was effective, ensuring people, their relatives and other relevant agencies were kept up to date about any changes in people’s care and support needs and the running of the service. There were effective systems to assess and monitor the quality of the service, which included feedback from people receiving care.

Inspection carried out on 8 January 2014

During a routine inspection

Ashleigh is a service that provides care, support and education to people with autism. People may attend the facility for two years. During this time they learn life skills and are helped to become more independent in aspects of everyday living.

Some of the people who used the service had complex needs and were unable to tell us about their experiences. We carried out an observation of care delivery to help us understand their experiences of the care they received. During our observations we found people appeared calm and happy. Staff were polite, patient and treated people in a respectful way.

We saw people were treated with respect and they were involved in all decisions with regard to their daily living needs. Information was made available to people in various formats appropriate to each person's communication needs.

Records showed before people received any care or treatment they were asked for their consent and the provider acted in accordance with their wishes and legal requirements.

We saw the premises were well-decorated and furnished for the comfort of people who used the service.

There were enough qualified, skilled and experienced staff to meet people's needs.

We saw the provider had systems in place to gather feedback from people, who used the service, and to regularly assess and monitor the quality of service people received. We spoke with two people who used the service who told us staff were kind and helpful. One person said, "Staff are very kind." Another person said; "I like living here."

Staff said they were well supported to do their job. They all said they thought communication was effective and they were kept informed of people's care and support needs.

We saw there was an effective complaints procedure in place. One person commented; "If I had a problem I know what to do and who to see."

Inspection carried out on 4 February 2013

During a routine inspection

We spoke to people who used the service and they told us that the �level of support from staff is exceptional, do appreciate it� and the staff �always find time and make time for you�.

People who used the service told us that they �felt safe� and that they knew how to take up any issues or complaints with the appropriate member of staff or manager. We were told about one complaint that had been dealt with quickly and resolved within the college.

We were told that the chef was �fantastic�, and meals were �absolutely amazing�.

Members of staff confirmed that they had received a robust induction and further training to enable them to do their job. They told us that they �really enjoyed working at the college�, �it was different to other jobs, but in a good way� and that �care given is really good�. They also told us that the managers within the college are �very effective, and get things done�.

They also said that training received had given them the confidence to recognise and take action if they observed any safeguarding incidents.

Inspection carried out on 1 November 2011

During a routine inspection

People who used the service told us that staff were good, supported them well and that they liked living at the college. One person we spoke with said, "The staff here are good. They help me when I need it, but let me make my own decisions as far as I am able". Another person said, "I like living here, we go to the Metro Centre and football matches".

Reports under our old system of regulation (including those from before CQC was created)