• Care Home
  • Care home

Sycamore Care Centre

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

Sycamore Lodge, Nookside, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, SR4 8PQ (0191) 525 0181

Provided and run by:
SLW Limited

Latest inspection summary

On this page

Background to this inspection

Updated 12 January 2023

The inspection

We carried out this inspection under Section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (the Act) as part of our regulatory functions. We checked whether the provider was meeting the legal requirements and regulations associated with the Act. We looked at the overall quality of the service and provided a rating for the service under the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

As part of this inspection we looked at the infection control and prevention measures in place. This was conducted so we can understand the preparedness of the service in preventing or managing an infection outbreak, and to identify good practice we can share with other services.

Inspection team

The inspection team was made up of 2 inspectors and 3 Experts by Experience. An Expert by Experience is a person who has personal experience of using or caring for someone who uses this type of care service.

Service and service type

Sycamore Care Centre is a ‘care home’. People in care homes receive accommodation and nursing or personal care as single package under one contractual agreement dependent on their registration with us. Sycamore Care Centre is a care home with nursing care. CQC regulates both the premises and the care provided, and both were looked at during this inspection.

Registered manager

This provider is required to have a registered manager to oversee the delivery of regulated activities at this location. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the Care Quality Commission to manage the service. Registered managers and providers are legally responsible for how the service is run, for the quality and safety of the care provided and compliance with regulations.

At the time of our inspection there was a registered manager in post.

Notice of inspection

This inspection was unannounced.

What we did before the inspection

We reviewed information we had received about the service since the last inspection. We sought feedback from the local authority and professionals who work with the service. We used the information the provider sent us in the provider information return (PIR). This is information providers are required to send us annually with key information about their service, what they do well, and improvements they plan to make. We used all this information to plan our inspection.

During the inspection

We spoke with 17 people and 26 relatives about their experience of the care provided. We spoke with 18 members of staff including the nominated individual, registered manager, 2 deputy managers, 4 senior care workers, 4 care assistants, the chef, 2 kitchen assistants, 2 activities workers and the administrator. We also received written feedback from 2 staff members. We used the Short Observational Framework for Inspection (SOFI). SOFI is a way of observing care to help us understand the experience of people who could not talk with us.

We reviewed documentation, inspected the safety of the premises and carried out observations in communal areas. We reviewed a range of records including 6 people’s care records, medicines records and quality audits. We looked at 3 staff files in relation to recruitment. A variety of records relating to the management of the service, including policies and procedures were also reviewed.

Overall inspection


Updated 12 January 2023

About the service

Sycamore Care Centre is a care home that provides personal and nursing care for up to 113 people, some of whom are living with dementia. Care is provided across 9 units situated within 4 different buildings. At the time of the inspection there were 107 people living in the home.

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

People felt very safe living in the home and with the support they received from staff. People and relatives spoke highly of the staff and said they were kind and caring. Relatives told us, “The staff are well trained. They’re very good with my [family member]. They know how to speak to people. I couldn’t fault the staff, they’re marvellous” and, “It is safe here, the girls are great with [family member]. She is well supported and well looked after.”

Staff safeguarded people from abuse. Risks to individuals and the environment were well managed. There were enough staff to meet people’s needs. The provider learned from accidents and incidents to mitigate future risks. Medicines were safely managed. Infection control processes were embedded into the service and staff followed government guidance in relation to infection control and prevention practices, in particular, relating to COVID-19. Relatives told us, “Yes it’s clean, they clean the carpet every day. It’s very safe, clean and tidy” and, “The home is immaculately clean.”

People’s needs were assessed before they moved into the home and on an ongoing basis. Staff were suitably trained and received regular supervisions. People were supported with their nutritional needs and to access a range of health care professionals. 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 were well supported and cared for. Staff treated people with respect and supported them in a dignified manner and in line with their wishes. One relative told us, “The staff know my [family member] really well. They treat her with respect and do encourage her. They are very kind people.”

People received person-centred care and care plans detailed how they wished to be supported. Staff knew how to effectively communicate with people and communication methods were detailed in care records. People and relatives knew how to raise concerns and any complaints received were fully investigated and actioned. People were supported with their social needs and enjoyed a range of activities.

The home was well managed. People and relatives were complimentary about the home and the care people received. The provider had an effective quality assurance process in place which included regular audits. People, relatives and staff were regularly consulted about the quality of the service through regular communication, surveys, meetings and reviews.

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

Rating at last inspection

The last rating for this service was good (published 23 May 2018).

Why we inspected

This inspection was prompted by a review of the information we held about this service.

We looked at infection prevention and control measures under the Safe key question. We look at this in all care home inspections even if no concerns or risks have been identified. This is to provide assurance that the service can respond to COVID-19 and other infection outbreaks effectively.

Follow up

We will continue to monitor information we receive about the service, which will help inform when we next inspect.