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Inspection carried out on 2 March 2020

During a routine inspection

About the service

Connell Court is a residential care home providing personal care for up to 37 people aged 65 and over. At the time of the inspection, the service was supporting 33 people across four floors. The ground floor housed the main dining room, accommodation and office space. It also provided access to a large garden.

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

The service was exceptionally good at providing sensitive, responsive end of life care. End of life care plans were personalised, fully detailed and produced with the involvement of the person and their relatives. Relatives were actively encouraged to stay with their loved ones and facilities were provided to assist them. People’s emotional and spiritual needs were understood and supported. Staff were well-trained in the provision of end of life care. The service worked very effectively with healthcare services to ensure people could remain at Connell Court if they wished.

People were consistently encouraged to engage in a wide range of meaningful activities and to maintain important relationships. Activities were developed to reflect people’s needs and preferences and gave people a sense of self-worth. People and their families spoke positively about the service and how they were made to feel welcome. Activities and events were organised to encourage relatives to visit. People’s communication needs were understood, and different approaches were used by staff to promote engagement. Care records were personalised for each individual and contained details about their specific needs and preferences.

Connell Court operated effective systems which kept people safe. People and their relatives commented positively on the safety of the environment and the care provided. Medicines were received, stored, administered and disposed of safely in accordance with best-practice. There were sufficient numbers of staff employed and on duty to meet people's assessed needs.

The service worked effectively with other agencies to ensure people received specialist healthcare support. Staff knew people well and provided care in accordance with their needs and preferences. Staff received a good range of support including regular training. People were supported to eat a varied and nutritious diet based on their individual preferences. The service operated in accordance with the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Staff treated people with kindness, compassion and respect. Positive and caring relationships had been developed between people and staff. People were encouraged to remain as independent as possible and their rights to privacy and dignity were protected.

The service had a positive learning culture where people were supported to reflect on performance and improve practice. People had good outcomes and their health and wellbeing was prioritised by the service. The registered manager and provider constantly monitored the provision of care and the environment to further improve people’s experience of receiving care. The service worked with internal and external partners to develop practice.

For more details, please see the full report which is on the CQC website at

Rating at last inspection and update

The last rating for this service was Good (published 17 August 2017).

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 service until we return to visit as per our re-inspection programme. If we receive any concerning information we may inspect sooner.

Inspection carried out on 5 July 2017

During a routine inspection

This unannounced inspection of Connell Court took place on 5 July 2017.

Situated within walking distance of Birkdale Village and close to public transport links, Connell Court provides accommodation and personal care for up to 37 people. It is a three storey purpose built property which is fitted with a passenger lift providing access to all floors. All the bedrooms are for single occupancy and have en-suite facilities. There is a lounge, dining room and conservatory on the ground floor. At the last inspection in March 2015, the service was rated ‘Good’. We found during this inspection that the service remained ‘Good.’

Risks were well assessed and information was updated as and when required. We were able to view these procedures and how they worked. Staff were able to describe the course of action they would take if they felt anyone was at risk of harm or abuse this included ‘whistleblowing’ to external organisations. People were supported to manage their medication by staff who were trained to do so. The registered manager had systems and processes in place to ensure that staff who worked at the service were recruited safely. Rotas showed there was on-going recruitment to ensure staff numbers were at the level they should be; this was still on-going at the time of our inspection.

There was a supervision schedule in place, and all staff had received up to date supervisions and most had undergone an annual appraisal, any due were booked in to take place. All newly appointed staff were enrolled on the Care Certificate. Records showed that all staff training was in date.

We saw that where people could consent to decisions regarding their care and support this had been well documented, and where people lacked capacity, the appropriate best interest processes had been followed. The service was working in accordance with the Mental Capacity and DoLS (Deprivation of Liberty) and associated principles.

Staff were able to give us examples of how they preserved dignity and privacy when providing care. People we spoke with were complimentary about the staff, the registered manager and the service in general. People told us they liked the staff who supported them.

The complaints policy contained contact details for the local authorities and commissioning groups. Complaints were well managed and documented in accordance with the provider’s complaints policy.

Staff we spoke with demonstrated that they knew the people they supported well, and enjoyed the relationships they had built with people. Care plans contained information about people’s likes, dislikes, preferences, backgrounds and personalities.

Action plans were drawn up when areas of improvement were identified. Staff meetings and resident meetings took place. Quality assurance systems were effective and measured service provision. Regular audits were taking place for different aspects of service delivery.

Further information is in the detailed findings below.

Inspection carried out on 4 March 2015

During a routine inspection

This unannounced inspection of Connell Court care home took place on 4 March 2015.

Situated within walking distance of Birkdale Village and close to public transport links, Connell Court provides accommodation and personal care for up to 37 people. It is a three storey purpose built property which is fitted with a passenger lift providing access to all floors. All the bedrooms are for single occupancy and have en-suite facilities. There is a lounge, dining room and conservatory on the ground floor.

A registered manager was 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 said they felt safe living at the home and were supported in a safe way by staff. Visitors we spoke with also told us they thought Connell Court was a safe place to live.

The staff we spoke with could clearly describe how they would recognise abuse and the action they would take to ensure actual or potential abuse was reported. Staff confirmed they had received adult safeguarding training.

Staff had been appropriately recruited to ensure they were suitable to work with vulnerable adults. People living at the home and staff told us there was sufficient numbers of staff on duty at all times.

Staff told us they were well supported through the induction process, regular supervision and appraisal. They said they were up-to-date with the training they were required by the organisation to undertake for the job.

A range of risk assessments had been completed depending on people’s individual needs. Care plans were well completed and they reflected people’s current needs. Risk assessments and care plans were reviewed on a monthly basis.

People told us they received their medication at a time when they needed it. Safeguards were in place to ensure medicines were managed in a safe way.

The building was clean, well-lit and clutter free. Measures were in place to monitor the safety of the environment and equipment.

People said their individual needs and preferences were respected by staff. They were supported to maintain optimum health and could access a range of external health care professionals when they needed to.

People living at the home expressed mixed views about the meals but the majority of people were satisfied with the meals. We could see that the home had processes in place to seek feedback on the food. Changes to the menu were made based on feedback from people.

People and families described management and staff as caring, respectful and approachable. Staff had a good understanding of people’s needs and their preferred routines. We observed positive and warm engagement between people living at the home and staff throughout the inspection. A full and varied programme of recreational activities was available for people to participate in.

Staff sought people’s consent before providing support or care. The home adhered to the principles of the Mental Capacity Act (2005). Nobody living at the home was subject to a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DoLS) plan.

The culture within the service was and open and transparent. Staff and people living there said the registered manager was approachable. They said they felt listened to and involved in the running of the home. People we spoke with told us the registered manager and staff communicated well and kept them informed of any changes.

Staff were aware of the whistle blowing policy and said they would not hesitate to use it. Opportunities were in place to address lessons learnt from the outcome of incidents, complaints and other investigations.

A procedure was established for managing complaints and people living at the home and their families were aware of what to do should they have a concern or complaint. We found that complaints had been managed in accordance with the complaints procedure.

Audits or checks to monitor the quality of care provided were in place and these were used to identify developments for the service.

Inspection carried out on 9 October 2013

During a routine inspection

As part of our inspection we spent time with people and invited them to share with us their views and experience of living at Connell Court. The people we spoke with were very positive about the care and support they received. One person told us, �You could not find a better place than this. The carers are always willing to help.� Another person said, �All the staff are lovely. They have got a nice manner. I cannot fault them.�

Furthermore, people told us the menu and food was good. People with specific nutritional needs were receiving a diet which met their needs.

Care records informed us each person had a detailed assessment of their needs. Individualised support plans had been developed for each person and they were reviewed on a monthly basis.

Effective arrangements were in place for monitoring the safety and suitability of the building and equipment within the home.

Procedures were in place for the safe storage of records.

Inspection carried out on 22 January 2013

During a routine inspection

During our inspection we spent time with people living at the home and invited them to share with us their views and experience of living at Connell Court. The people we spoke with were satisfied with the care and support they received. One person told us, �It is very good; they [the staff] look after us well.� Another person said, �I�m very happy here, the food is good and it is warm�.

Throughout the day we observed that people were comfortable and relaxed, including people in the lounge and those who chose to stay in their bedrooms. We observed people engaging in conversation with each other and with staff throughout the day. We noted that staff supported people in a discrete and respectful way.

Care records informed us that assessments and care plans had been developed for each person and these were reviewed on a regular basis.

Arrangements were in place for ensuring the environment was clean. Complaints were managed in a timely and efficient way. Effective processes were in place for the recruitment of new staff.

During an inspection looking at part of the service

This review involved checking whether the provider had made improvements to processes and procedures. Therefore we did not seek the views of people living at the home on this occasion.

Inspection carried out on 11 August 2011

During a routine inspection

We heard from people who live at Connell Court that the home is clean and smells nice. They told us that the meals are good with plenty of choice, the staff are caring and meetings take place to see if people are happy with the home. One person told us that if he needed to make a complaint he would look at the complaints procedure on the notice board.

Relatives and representatives informed us that Connell Court is a lovely home and they are pleased with the care provided. We heard that the staff are caring, thoughtful and take into account the individual wishes of people. Communication is good and relatives said they are kept informed of changes to care needs.

We heard from some relatives that there is not always enough staff and the staff seem to be busy most of the time.

Relatives told us that they have opportunities to comment on the home through attending meetings and completing feedback questionnaires.

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