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Inspection carried out on 19 July 2019

During a routine inspection

About the service

Tablehurst Farm Cottage is a residential care home providing accommodation and personal care to up to three people living with a learning disability

The care home accommodates three people in one adapted building. Tablehurst Farm Cottage is situated on a working farm and people who live in the cottage are fully involved in the day to day operations on the farm.

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

The home has been developed and designed in line with the principles and values that underpin Registering the Right Support and other best practice guidance. This ensures that people who use the home can live as full a life as possible and achieve the best possible outcomes. The principles reflect the need for people with learning disabilities and/or autism to live meaningful lives that include control, choice, and independence. People using the home receive planned and co-ordinated person-centred support that is appropriate and inclusive for them.

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 home supported this practice.

People's support focused on them having as many opportunities as possible for them to gain new skills and become more independent. One relative told us, “We like that it’s a small home. (My relative) is living in a community where most of the people don’t have a learning disability which is good for them.”

People received kind and compassionate care from a staff team that understood their needs. One family member said, “I can't actually fault it. Since (my relative) has been there they have had such a full life. The last ten years (my relative) has been there have been the best years of their life.”

People received personalised care that was tailored to meet their individual needs, preferences and choices. Care plans were detailed and guided staff about people's needs and how to meet them. People’s concerns and complaints were listened to and used to improve the service they received.

The registered manager and house manager were well regarded and had a clear vision for the service which was understood by the staff and embedded within their practice. There were effective quality assurance systems that were used to drive service improvements. People, their relatives and staff were asked for their feedback about the home and meetings were held regularly.

Rating at last inspection

The last rating for this service was Good (published 25 November 2016).

Why we inspected

This was a planned inspection based on the previous rating.

Follow up

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

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

Inspection carried out on 13 October 2016

During a routine inspection

This unannounced inspection took place on 13 October 2016. This residential care home is registered to provide accommodation and personal care for up to three people. At the time of our inspection there were three people with a learning disability at the home. Tablehurst farm cottage is situated on a working farm and people who live in the cottage are also fully involved in the day to day operations on the farm.

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 felt safe in the home. Staff understood the need to protect people from harm and knew what action they should take if they had any concerns. Staffing levels ensured that people received the support they required to keep them safe and recruitment procedures protected people from receiving unsafe care from care staff unsuited to the job. People had risk assessments in place which identified and managed people’s known risks. There were appropriate procedures in place to administer medicines.

People received care from staff that were supported to carry out their roles to meet the assessed needs of people living at the home. Staff received training in areas that enabled them to understand and meet the care needs of each person.

People were actively involved in decisions about their care and support needs. There were formal systems in place to assess people’s capacity for decision making under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). People had their healthcare needs managed in a way that was appropriate for each person and people’s nutritional needs were supported and managed with each person.

People received support from staff that treated them well and prioritised their needs. People were relaxed and comfortable around staff and staff understood the need to respect people’s confidentiality. People were supported to maintain good relationships with people that were important to them.

Care plans were written in a person centred manner and focussed on empowering people. People were encouraged to make their own personal choices and to be in control of their own lives. Care plans detailed how people wished to be supported and people were fully involved in making decisions about their care. People participated in a range of activities and received the support they needed to help them do this. People were able to choose where they spent their time and what they did.

People at the home spoke positively about the management team and the culture within the home focussed upon supporting people to be independent. Systems were in place for the home to receive and act on feedback.

Inspection carried out on 22 July 2014

During a routine inspection

During this inspection we observed care practices, looked at records and spoke with the provider and two staff. We met with all of the people who used the service.

Our inspection team was made up of one adult social care inspector and the inspection was carried out over five hours. We answered our five questions; Is the service caring? Is the service responsive? Is the service safe? Is the service effective? Is the service well led? Below is a summary of what we found. If you want to see the evidence supporting our summary please read the full report.

Is the service safe?

There were up to date policies and procedures in place for the safeguarding of vulnerable adults. Staff were aware of their safeguarding responsibilities and had received appropriate training.

There were detailed risk assessments in place for home and farm based activities which meant that people could participate in meaningful tasks in a safe and supported manner.

There were enough qualified, skilled and experienced staff to meet people’s needs. The staff we spoke with were knowledgeable about the people they supported and had previous experience in working with people who had a learning disability. The rota showed that there was always a member of staff on duty to support people if needed.

CQC monitors the operation of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards which applies to care homes. While no applications have needed to be submitted, proper policies and procedures were in place. Relevant staff understood when an application should be made, and how to submit one.

Is the service effective?

People told us that they were happy living at Tablehurst Farm Cottage. It was clear from what we saw and from speaking with staff that they understood people’s care and support needs and that they knew them well. Staff had received training to meet the needs of the people living at the home.

Is the service caring?

We observed that people appeared relaxed and happy on the farm and familiar with the staff that supported them. People were actively involved in farming tasks and treated as members of the team. We found that people were able to participate in farm tasks of their choosing and were supported to develop new skills. People expressed their views and were involved in making decisions about their care and treatment. There were regular house meetings where people were asked how they were getting on and if the had any ideas or suggestions.

Is the service responsive?

People’s needs were continually assessed. Records showed that people’s preferences, goals and diverse needs had been identified and support had been provided accordingly. Where changes in people's needs had been identified the service took action to make sure appropriate support was offered.

Is the service well-led?

There were quality assurance processes in place to maintain standards in the service. We saw that staff and people who used the service were given opportunities to express their views. The provider monitored the quality of the service and took action to make improvements where needed.

Inspection carried out on 14 June 2013

During a routine inspection

We met all three people who lived at the home and spoke with two members of staff. The temporary manager was unavailable on the day of our visit. People told us that they liked living at the home. One person said they were "Happy" and "We all get on". A member of staff said "It is like a big family".

People were actively involved in the daily activities of the farm. They helped out with meaningful jobs and were able to do the tasks they enjoyed. People were treated with dignity and respect by the staff that supported them.

We found that people received care and support that met their needs. Care plans were up to date and contained the information staff needed to fully support people. Staff had a good awareness and understanding of each person and promoted their independence.

Staff were supported in their roles through training and regular team meetings. There were opportunities for staff to discuss any issues or concerns. The staff we spoke with said that they liked working there and had the support they needed. One staff member said "I really enjoy working here".

Inspection carried out on 31 January 2013

During a routine inspection

We used a number of different methods to help us understand the experiences of people who used the service because people's complex needs meant they were not fully able to tell us about their experiences. One person said that they "Like it here" and another told us they were "Happy". Feedback forms received from relatives in September 2012 had comments such as "Impressed with the variety of activities" and that it was "A very warm, friendly household".

Tablehurst Cottage was located on a working farm and the people who lived there were actively involved in the day to day running of farm activities. We found that people were treated with respect and were supported in being members of the farm team. Because there were live-in staff at the Cottage there was what one staff member described as a "Family feel" to the way it operated.

We found that people were given the support they needed to enjoy fulfilling lives which promoted their independence.

Staff were knowledgeable about the needs of people who lived at the home. They told us that it was a "Nice set up" and they "Get to know people quite well". However, we found that staff did not get the training they needed to fully support them in their roles.

There were quality assurance systems in place to make sure that people's views and opinions were taken into account. The provider was aware of potential risks to people and had plans in place to manage them safely.