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Inspection carried out on 13 May 2019

During a routine inspection

About the service:

This service provides care and support to people living in 'supported living' settings, so they can live as independently as possible. People's care and housing are provided under separate contractual agreements. CQC does not regulate premises used for supported living; this inspection looked at people's care and support.

Barnsley Mencap was providing personal care to 67 people at the time of the inspection.

The outcomes for people using the service reflected principles and values of 'Registering the Right Support' in the following ways, promotion of choice and control, independence and inclusion. People's support focussed on them having as many opportunities as possible for them to gain new skills and become more independent.

People’s experience of using this service: People were pleased with the quality of care and support they experienced. They told us they felt safe when support workers were providing care and support to them. A person told us, “I feel really safe here. The staff are really good and look after me really well.”

Healthcare professionals involved with the service told us they had no concerns about the commissioning of the service or how it was managed.

Staff knew who to report any concerns to and assessments of potential risk helped to ensure people were as safe as possible. Staff told us they were confident that if they raised any concerns the registered manager and service managers would take them seriously and act accordingly.

The same support workers supported people most of the time. The provider recognized this was important to people. The provider employed enough support workers so people’s needs could be met in a timely way.

Support workers had training about how to manage medicines safely. We saw staff administer medicines to people safely and in line with agreed policies and protocols.

Support workers followed safe practice for infection control. They wore protective equipment such as gloves and aprons when they supported people. They also supported people to keep their homes clean.

Staff were recruited following a thorough process that ensured as far as possible, only suitable staff were employed. New support workers learnt about people’s needs by working alongside experienced colleagues before supporting people alone. They learnt about people’s likes, dislikes and preferences about how they wanted to be supported.

Staff received training which supported them to have the knowledge and skills to do their job well and effectively meet people’s needs.

Staff supported some people to have enough to eat and drink and to access health services when they needed. They telephoned for doctors or nurses to attend to a person if they were unwell.

Staff respected people’s privacy and dignity and encouraged people to be as independent as possible. People were treated with respect by staff who demonstrated compassion and understanding.

People knew how to complain and were confident the registered manager or other staff would resolve their complaints.

People who used the service, relatives and staff could express their views about the service which were acted upon. The management team provided leadership that gained the respect of the staff and motivated them as a team.

There were systems in place to monitor the quality of the service and make improvements when needed. Some of these systems needed firmly embedding into practice to ensure they were fully effective.

Rating at last inspection: At our last inspection, the service was rated 'good.' Our last report was published on 30 November 2016.

Why we inspected: This was a planned inspection based on the rating awarded at the last inspection.

Follow up: We will continue to monitor the service to ensure that people receive safe, compassionate, high quality care. Further inspections will be planned for future dates.

Inspection carried out on 13 October 2016

During a routine inspection

The inspection took place on 13 October 2016 and was announced. We gave the provider notice of our inspection in line with our current methodology for inspecting this type of service. The service was previously inspected in February 2014 and the service was meeting the regulations we looked at.

Barnsley Mencap provides personal care to people who live in the Barnsley area. The service supports people who live in supported living services and people who live alone.

The service had a registered manager in post at the time of our inspection. 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.

Staff we spoke with were knowledgeable about the process they would follow if they suspected abuse. They told us they received training in this area and would be able to recognise abuse. Staff also told us they knew how to use the whistle blowing policy and would raise anything that was a concern to them.

We looked at the systems in place to manage people’s medicines and found this was done in a safe way. We spoke with staff who told us they had received appropriate training in medicine administration and were observed completing this task before they were able to administer medicines alone.

We found the provider had a safe and effective system in place for employing new staff. We looked at staff files and found them to contain pre-employment checks and other appropriate information.

We spoke with people who used the service and their relatives and were told there was always enough staff around to meet people’s needs.

Risks associated with people’s care were identified and appropriate measures were put in place to minimise the risk.

We spoke with staff about the training they received and they told us this was worthwhile and covered subjects appropriate to their role. The provider had their own learning and development team and most training was provided by them.

The service was meeting the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). Staff offered people choices and respected their decisions.

We spoke with people who used the service and their relatives and they all spoke highly of the food provided. People were involved in menu planning, preparation and cooking where appropriate.

People had access to healthcare professionals when required. We looked at care records and saw professionals such as speech and language therapist, and district nurses had been involved in their care.

People we spoke with thought the staff were caring and offered support in a respectful manner. People’s choices and views were considered and respected and care plans included information about their likes and dislikes.

The provider had a complaints procedure which was discussed at individual key worker meetings, offering people a change to raise any concerns. People we spoke with and their relatives had no concerns about the service and were very complimentary.

There was evidence of good leadership at all levels. Staff knew their roles and responsibilities well and looked to the management team for advice and guidance when required.

We saw audits were completed to ensure the quality of the service was maintained. Audits had action plans to address any issues that were identified.

There was evidence that people who used the service had a voice and were given the opportunity to contribute ideas about how the service should operate.

Inspection carried out on 3, 7 February 2014

During a routine inspection

During the inspection we spoke with one person who used the service at the main office and two people by telephone. We visited six people who lived in one of Mencap�s supported living accommodation services. We found that some people who used the service had complex needs and we were not able to verbally communicate with them so that they could share their views and experiences with us. We observed the general environment and staff interactions with people. We saw that staff treated people with respect and had professional, positive relationships with them.

People we spoke with made positive comments about the staff and were satisfied with the quality of support they had received. People�s comments included: �they [the staff] are smashing, I get on with all my support workers�, �[the support worker] is brilliant, the staff are trained really well� and �I find them [the staff] okay�. Observations under taken during our inspection demonstrated that staff knew the individual needs of people and how they liked to be supported.

All staff spoken with were clear about what their roles and responsibilities were and what action they would take if they saw or suspected any abuse.

People were supported by suitably qualified, skilled and experienced staff.

The service had an effective system to regularly assess and monitor the quality of service that people received.

Inspection carried out on 23 October 2012

During a routine inspection

We spoke with five people who told us that they were always treated respectfully. Their comments included: "The staff are respectful." �Staff speak to me politely." Relatives told us that staff treated their relatives with dignity and respect.

We spoke with two people with their support workers. We observed that staff spoke to people in a kind manner and with respect. People told us that their opinions were sought so that they were involved in decisions and that they had choice.

We found that most people we spoke with were happy with the support they were receiving. However staff and people told us that there was too much paperwork for staff to complete.

We spoke with relatives and they told us they were involved in their relatives supporting planning. Their comments included: �I am always invited to my sister�s support planning meetings.� �There is good communication between the staff and me.�

We found that staff were clear about what their roles and responsibilities were and what action they would take if they saw or suspected any abuse. People told us that they felt "safe" and that they had no worries or concerns. They all said that if they had any concerns or worries they would speak to staff.

We found that staff had received training and were supervised. We saw evidence that staff had the chance to develop and improve their skills.

We found evidence that the service regularly assessed and monitored the quality of their service.