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Archived: Alston House Good

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Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 15 December 2017

This inspection took place unannounced on 28 September and we returned announced on 6 October 2017.

Alston House provides accommodation and personal care for up to 19 older people some of whom are living with dementia. It is located in Aylestone close to Leicester city centre. The service has bedrooms, some of which have ensuite facilities, on two floors accessed by a passenger lift and a garden at the rear. At the time of our inspection there were 17 people using the service.

The service has a registered manager. This 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 told us the staff were caring and kind. Staff communicated with people in a positive and compassionate manner. The atmosphere in the home was friendly and inclusive. People and staff listened to music together and one person enjoyed dancing with a staff member. Visitors were made welcome and staff spoke with them about how their family members were getting on.

Staff provided people with responsive and personalised care. Staff knew the people they supported well and understood their needs. We saw staff talking with people and making sure they had what they wanted. Staff told us that because their service was small they had the opportunity get to know the people they supported and how they liked things done.

All the people we spoke with said they felt safe at Alston House. Staff knew where people were at risk from falls or other accidents and took action to reduce the risk of harm. The premises were adapted to help keep people safe, for example people had call bells within reach and mobility and walking aids available to them. Staff were trained in safeguarding [protecting people from abuse] and understood their responsibilities to keep people safe.

People had mixed views about staffing levels at the service. Some people thought they were satisfactory whereas others felt there should be more staff on duty. Records showed staffing levels to be acceptable, given people’s needs, but the managers agreed to keep them under constant review and make changes where necessary to ensure people’s needs were always met in a timely manner.

People told us they had their medicines on time. Medicines were administered by trained senior carers. The managers carried out weekly medicines audits and took advice for their pharmacist and the local health authority to ensure people’s medicines were safely managed.

People said they thought most of the staff were well-trained. Staff completed a range of courses to help ensure they had the skills and knowledge they needed to provide effective care. The managers and staff had a working knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act and understood the importance of people consenting to their care.

People were positive about the food provided. We saw lunch being served on the first day of our inspection visit. The food appeared wholesome and well-presented. If people needed assistance or prompting with their meals staff provided this. The deputy manager carried out a monthly meals audit and made change to the menus in line with people’s wishes.

People told us staff supported them with their healthcare needs and accompanied them to appointments where necessary. People’s medical history and healthcare needs were documented in their care records so staff had the information they needed to help keep people healthy. Records showed people had access to a range of health care professionals including GPs, district nurses, chiropodists, and opticians.

People told us there were concerned about the lack of activities and outings at the service. They said this had left some of them feeling bored and unstimulated. Records showed activities were infrequent and mainly consisted of watchin

Inspection areas



Updated 15 December 2017

The service was safe.

People using the service felt safe and staff knew what to do if they had concerns about their welfare.

Staff supported people to manage risks.

There were enough staff on duty to keep people safe and meet their needs.

Medicines were safely managed and administered.



Updated 15 December 2017

The service was effective.

Staff were trained to support people safely and effectively and seek their consent before providing care.

Staff had the information they needed to enable people to have sufficient to eat, drink and maintain a balanced diet.

People were assisted to access health care services and maintain good health.



Updated 15 December 2017

The service was caring.

Staff were caring and kind and treated people with compassion.

Staff respected people’s privacy and dignity and involved them in decisions about their care and support.


Requires improvement

Updated 15 December 2017

The service was mostly responsive.

People received personalised care that met their needs.

Improvements were needed to the service’s activity programme.

People knew how to make a complaint if they needed to.



Updated 15 December 2017

The service was well led.

The service had an open and friendly culture and the managers and staff were approachable and helpful.

The provider used audits to check on the quality of the service and was committed to making improvements where necessary.