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The Meath Epilepsy Charity Outstanding


Inspection carried out on 22 June 2016

During a routine inspection

The inspection took place on 22 June 2016 and was unannounced. The Meath Epilepsy Trust is registered to provide accommodation with personal care for up to 84 adults who are living with epilepsy and may have associated learning and or physical disabilities. There are eight individual houses within the service, each of which has a manager and senior staff team. There are communal resources available to all those living at The Meath including a café, skills centre and gym.

The home had a registered manager. 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. The registered manager supported us during the inspection.

People received excellent care in a way that was personalised and responsive to their needs. There a culture of positive risk taking which enabled people to lead full lives and maximised independence. People were supported by skilled staff who were knowledgeable about their needs and aspirations. Wherever possible, people were encouraged to take control of their own care and were supported in this by relatives and other professionals.

There was a positive and vibrant culture in the service and people were encouraged to push the boundaries and challenge expectations. In addition to a wide range of individual activities people were supported to take part in an extreme sports group which aimed to raise people’s confidence. The service facilitated two social enterprise schemes based on the main high street of the local town. There was a commitment to developing community links and members of the public were invited to participate in various leisure activities with the service.

People’s involvement in the running and development of the service was actively encouraged. People were involved in the recruitment of staff and had begun to contribute to audits of the service by acting as ‘experts by experience’. The service gained regular feedback from people, staff and relatives through an annual questionnaire, house meetings and residents and relative’s forums. The culture of the home was open and people felt confident to express their views and opinions. Concerns and complaints were encouraged, investigated and responded to in a timely manner.

The service worked extensively with other organisation to raise public awareness of people living with epilepsy and was actively involved in on-going research. Local links with other services had been established to ensure good practice was shared. People and relatives spoke highly of the registered manager and other senior managers who acted as positive role models and had a visible presence across the service. Quality assurance processes were robust and action plans to improve the service were prioritised and completed quickly.

People’s healthcare needs were supported in a holistic manner. The on-site healthcare team provided specialist advice and ensured staff were aware of their responsibilities. There were close links with healthcare specialists and appointments were well documented to ensure people’s complex needs were met safely. Medicines were managed safely and staff were knowledgeable about the medicines and support people required in a health emergency.

People were supported to maintain a healthy diet and we saw people were fully involved in choosing their food. Staff were knowledgeable about people’s dietary requirements and where people required support to eat this was provided in a dignified manner which encouraged independence.

There were sufficient staff deployed throughout the service to meet people’s needs. People’s safety was protected as the service had robust recruitment procedures in place and staff were knowledgeable about their responsibilities in identifying and reporting abuse. There were contingency plans in place to ensure people could continue to receive care in the event of an emergency.

Staff received the training and support they required to carry out their roles effectively. Staff undertook a comprehensive induction when they joined the service to enable them to learn about people’s needs and the visions of the service. Progression training was available to staff who wished to further their careers.

Inspection carried out on 27, 28 January 2014

During a routine inspection

People who use the service appeared relaxed with the staff. The whole location had a vibrant, caring and positive atmosphere. We observed people being assisted in a respectful manner. Those who required extra assistance were helped in a manner that promoted their dignity and independence. People told us that “they help me to be me”, “I’m very happy here, there’s so much to do” and “I never want to leave. The staff make my life so much more fun than before”. We spoke with relatives of people at the service who told us that they were involved in all discussions about care and were confident that their loved ones were safe.

We saw that the service had detailed care plans and risk assessments in place to maintain people’s safety and welfare. The home was very clean and people helped with this as part of their activities. We saw audits demonstrating that the management was monitoring the quality of service provided.

We found that the recruitment process was thorough and included input from the people who use the service. Staff had a comprehensive training programme and had systems in place to supervise and monitor the standard of their practice.

Ms Simone Jeacock was no longer in post as registered manager and was not managing the regulatory activities at this location at the time of the inspection. Their name appears because they were still a registered manager on our register at the time. Clarissa Baynes was the registered manager at the time of the inspection.

Inspection carried out on 13 September 2012

During a routine inspection

We spoke with and listened to people who use the service and most of these people were able to express their opinions through speech, gesture or sound.

People we spoke with said they liked living at the service, they could always make their own choices and they enjoyed spending time with their friends, the staff or in their rooms. When we were unable to understand people’s communication methods we were able to observe their interactions with us and the staff. Our observations demonstrated that people moved freely around their units and the home. They interacted positively with staff and made choices about every aspect of their daily life and care.

People wanted to show us their rooms which were very individual and contained many personal items. One person had recently chosen new decoration and curtains and their choices had been respected and acted on.

Two people told us they would speak to staff if they were concerned about any aspect of their care. Staff confirmed that they would respond appropriately if people told them about any concerns or complaints. People had opportunities to express their views individually and at meetings and these were acted on.

Inspection carried out on 30 August and 17 October 2011

During an inspection in response to concerns

People told us their views were taken into consideration by staff. They said they were involved in the planning and delivery of their care. Matters of personal care and hygiene and overall wellbeing had been discussed with them. They told us they attended review meetings as required to discuss their needs and progress.

People told us that their medical care were well looked after as they were registered with their own General Practitioner or with the service's General Practitioner (GP). They said their GP visited the home regularly and visited them if they were unwell. Pep [le told us they knew whom their medical consultant was and visited the hospital as required and sometimes they will be visited at the service by the consultant.

People told us they knew who their carers were and that they were able to make and maintained good relationships with them. They said the staff were very good and would inform their relatives of any change in their health care need. Usually a care worker accompanied them to hospital appointments or to Accident and Emergency department should this become necessary.

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