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We are carrying out a review of quality at Amber Lodge - Lowestoft. We will publish a report when our review is complete. Find out more about our inspection reports.


Inspection carried out on 5 April 2017

During a routine inspection

Amber Lodge is a residential care home registered to provide support to 13 people with a learning disability.

At the last inspection the service was rated Good. At this inspection we found the service remained Good.

People told us they felt safe living in the service. Risks to people were appropriately planned for and managed. Medicines were stored, managed and administered safely.

People told us there were enough suitably knowledgeable staff to provide them with support and guidance when they needed it.

Staff had received appropriate training, support and development to carry out their role effectively. Plans were in place to develop upon the skills and knowledge of the staff team.

People received appropriate support to maintain healthy nutrition and hydration.

The service was meeting the requirements of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLs). People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible; the policies and systems in the service supported this practice.

People told us staff were kind to them and respected their right to privacy. People said they were enabled and supported to live as independently as possible. Our observations supported this.

People told us they were encouraged to feed back on the service and participate in meetings to make decisions about activities and household matters.

People received personalised care that met their individual needs and preferences. People were actively involved in the planning of their care. People were enabled to access meaningful activities and follow their individual interests.

People told us they knew how to complain and felt they would be listened to.

The manager instilled a culture of openness and transparency within the service. Staff and people using the service were invited to take part in discussions around shaping the future of the service.

There was a robust quality assurance system in place and shortfalls identified were promptly acted on to improve the service.

Further information is in the detailed findings below.

Inspection carried out on 10 September 2015

During a routine inspection

Amber Lodge is a care home providing care and support to a maximum of 13 people living with a learning disability. At the time of our visit there were 13 people using the service.

The inspection was unannounced and took place on 10 September 2015.

The home had a manager in place who was in the process of registering with the Care Quality Commission. 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 requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated regulations about the service is run.

People told us they felt safe living in the service, and there were clear plans in place to reduce the risks of people coming to harm. Staff understood their role in supporting people to keep safe.

People told us, and our observations confirmed that there were enough suitably qualified, trained and supported staff to meet people’s needs. Staff told us they received the training they needed to carry out their role effectively, and that they were supported to do their job.

There was a robust recruitment procedure in place to ensure that prospective staff members had the skills, qualifications and background to support people.

People told us that they received their medicines when they needed them. Medicines were stored and administered safely.

The service was complying with the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act (2005) and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). Appropriate DoLS referrals had been made where required, and assessments of people’s capacity were completed appropriately.

People were supported to live full and active lives, and engage in meaningful activity within the service and out in the community.

People were aware of the support they should receive from staff. However, improvements were required with regard to how people are involved in the planning of their support in the future, and how their views are reflected in their care records.

There were systems in place to monitor the quality of the service and to identify shortfalls and areas for improvement. There was an open culture at the service. People and their relatives were supported to voice their opinions on the service they received and to give feedback about the staff who supported them. Staff told us they felt confident in raising concerns or making suggestions to their manager. There was a complaints procedure in place and people knew how to complain if they were unhappy.

Inspection carried out on 8 July 2013

During a routine inspection

We spoke with six of the 12 people who used the service. They told us that they were happy living in the service. One person said, “I am really happy.” Another person said, “Yes I like it, I am happy.” Another said, “They (staff) help me when I need help.”

People told us about their daily work and/or day services that they attended. They also told us about the choices that they made about the activities they participated in, holidays and what they ate.

People told us that the staff treated them with respect and kindness. One person said, “They (staff) are nice to me.” Another person said, “I love them.” Another said, "They are kind and ask me what I want." This was confirmed in our observations during our inspection. We saw that staff interacted with people in a caring, respectful and professional manner.

We looked at the care records of three people who used the service and found that people experienced care, treatment and support that met their needs and protected their rights.

We looked at the staff rota and training records and found that there were enough staff who were trained to meet the needs of the people who used the service.

We found that all of the records we saw were well maintained and fit for purpose.

We looked around the service and found that people were provided with a clean and hygienic environment to live in.

Inspection carried out on 3 September 2012

During a routine inspection

We spoke with eight of the 13 people who used the service. They told us that their choices about the care and support they were provided with were listened to. One person said "I always choose what I want to do." Another person said "The staff ask me what I want and they listen to me."

People told us about the activities that they enjoyed doing both in the service and in the community. One person said "I like going out." Another person told us about the bus services that they used to go to their day placement. Another said "I go to church every week, I like it."

People told us that they chose what they wanted to eat and drink. One person said "The staff ask me what I want to eat and I can have what I want." Another person said "I like to help with the cooking."

Inspection carried out on 18 January 2012

During a routine inspection

People told us how much they liked living at Amber Lodge. The staff were kind and helpful and they could do lots of different things in the home and outside. They liked going to the various day centres during the week, and doing other things at the weekend.