• Care Home
  • Care home

Silver Birch

Overall: Requires improvement read more about inspection ratings

39 Silver Birch Road, Erdington, Birmingham, West Midlands, B24 0AR (0121) 250 2067

Provided and run by:
New Outlook Housing Association Limited

Latest inspection summary

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Background to this inspection

Updated 3 March 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

The inspection was carried out by one inspector and a medicines inspector.

Service and service type

Silver Birch 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. We used the information the provider sent us in the provider information return. This is information providers are required to send us with key information about their service, what they do well, and improvements they plan to make. This information helps support our inspections.

We used all of this information to plan our inspection.

During the inspection

We spoke with one person who used the service. People who used the service who were unable to talk with us used different ways of communicating including using Makaton, symbols, objects and their body language. We spoke with five members of staff including the registered manager, locality manager, senior care and care workers. We used the Short Observational Framework for Inspection (SOFI). SOFI is a way of observing care to help us understand the experience of people who could not talk with us.

We reviewed a range of records. This included four people’s care records and multiple medication records. We looked at two staff files in relation to recruitment and staff supervision. A variety of records relating to the management of the service, including policies and procedures were reviewed.

After the inspection

We spoke with three relatives to obtain their views of the service. We also spoke with the registered manager to obtain further information and had correspondence with the nominated individual in order to gain assurances on actions taken in response to concerns raised during the inspection.

Overall inspection

Requires improvement

Updated 3 March 2022

We expect health and social care providers to guarantee people with a learning disability and autistic people respect, equality, dignity, choices and independence and good access to local communities that most people take for granted. ‘Right support, right care, right culture’ is the guidance CQC follows to make assessments and judgements about services supporting people with a learning disability and autistic people and providers must have regard to it.

About the service

Silver Birch is a residential care home providing personal and nursing care to six people who are living with a learning disability and/or have a sensory impairment. The service can support up to seven people.

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

People were supported by staff who knew them well and the risks to them, but people’s care records did not consistently provide staff with the most up to date information on how to support them safely and effectively. A number of incidents had not been recognised as safeguarding concerns and had not been reported to the appropriate authorities. Medicines were not always appropriately managed. We were not fully assured regarding some areas of infection control and the provider's infection control policy was not up to date. Accidents and incidents were recorded but there was a lack of analysis to identify any trends learn lessons when things went wrong.

Staff felt supported and valued, but raised concerns regarding the lack of specialist training available to them to enable them to support people effectively.

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.

We expect health and social care providers to guarantee autistic people and people with a learning disability the choices, dignity, independence and good access to local communities that most people take for granted. Right Support, right care, right culture is the statutory guidance which supports CQC to make assessments and judgements about services providing support to people with a learning disability and/or autistic people.

Based on our review of safe, effective and well-led key questions the service was able to demonstrate how they were meeting some of the underpinning principles of right support, right care, right culture. The service applied the principles and values of Registering the Right Support and other best practice guidance. These ensure that people who use the service can live as full a life as possible and achieve the best possible outcomes that include control, choice and independence. The outcomes for the people using the service reflected the principles and values of Registering the Right Support by promoting choice and control, independence and inclusion. People’s support focused on them having the choice and opportunities to gain new skills, where appropriate, and to become more independent.

Quality assurance systems had failed to identify areas for improvement found on inspection. The current systems in place did not provide the registered manager with complete oversight of the service. The service worked alongside other professionals to obtain support for people. Relatives were complimentary of the service, the care staff and the registered manager.

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 7 January 2018).

Why we inspected

We received information in relation to a number of incidents that had not been recognised as potential safeguarding concerns, staff training and a lack of learning from accidents and incidents.

As a result, we undertook a focused inspection to review the key questions of safe, effective and well-led only.

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.

We reviewed the information we held about the service. No areas of concern were identified in the other key questions. We therefore did not inspect them. Ratings from previous comprehensive inspections for those key questions were used in calculating the overall rating at this inspection.

The overall rating for the service has changed from good to requires improvement. This is based on the findings at this inspection.

We have found evidence that the provider needs to make improvements. Please see the safe, effective and well led sections of this full report.

You can see what action we have asked the provider to take at the end of this full report.

The provider responded to the concerns raised during the inspection and action was taken to address these concerns.

You can read the report from our last comprehensive inspection, by selecting the ‘all reports’ link for Silver Birch on our website at www.cqc.org.uk.


We are mindful of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our regulatory function. This meant we took account of the exceptional circumstances arising as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic when considering what enforcement action was necessary and proportionate to keep people safe as a result of this inspection. We will continue to monitor the service to keep people safe and to hold providers to account where it is necessary for us to do so.

We have identified breaches in relation to safeguarding service users and good governance at this inspection.

Please see the action we have told the provider to take at the end of this report.

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.