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Inspection carried out on 19 July 2017

During a routine inspection

Rochdale Area B is part of Mencap, which is a national charity that supports adults with a learning disability. Rochdale Area B is a scheme that has a number of shared houses where people have joint tenancies but are supported by staff that are available 24 hours a day. They also support people in their own homes. On the day of our inspection 75 people were being supported in the Greater Manchester and Stockport areas. The office is located in Rochdale.

At the last inspection of April 2015 the service were rated as good. At this inspection the service remained good.

The service had a registered manager. 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 a legal responsibility for meeting the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated Regulations about how the service is run.

The service used the local authority safeguarding procedures to report any safeguarding concerns. Staff had been trained in safeguarding topics and were aware of their responsibilities to report any possible abuse.

Recruitment procedures were robust and ensured new staff should be safe to work with vulnerable adults.

The administration of medicines was safe. Staff had been trained in the administration of medicines and had up to date policies and procedures to follow.

People who used the service and staff thought there were sufficient numbers of staff to meet people’s needs.

People told us they helped plan the menus and went shopping for the foods they wanted. Where possible people were supported to help prepare food and also used dining as a social experience by visiting other houses within the organisation and cooking for each other. People also met up and ate in the community.

Most staff had been trained in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). The people we spoke with had capacity to make their own decisions and there were no people who required a DoLS at the time of our inspection..

New staff received induction training to provide them with the skills to care for people. Staff files and the training matrix showed staff had undertaken sufficient training to meet the needs of people.

Staff received formal supervision regularly to check their competence. Supervision sessions also gave staff the opportunity to discuss their work and ask for any training they felt necessary.

We observed there were good interactions between staff and people who used the service. People told us staff were kind and caring.

Records were held securely to protect people’s confidential information.

We saw that the quality of care plans gave staff sufficient information to look after people accommodated at the care home and they were regularly reviewed. Plans of care contained people’s personal preferences so they could be treated as individuals.

People were given information on how to complain with the details of other organisations if they wished to go outside of the service.

People were given an opportunity to discuss how they wanted staff to support them at meetings, including how their house was run.

Staff and people who used the service all told us managers were approachable and supportive.

Meetings with staff gave them the opportunity to be involved in the running of the home and discuss their training needs.

The manager conducted sufficient audits to ensure the quality of the service provided was maintained or improved.

There were suitable activities to provide people with stimulation if they wished to join in.

Inspection carried out on 23 April 2015

During a routine inspection

This was an announced inspection which took place on 23 April 2015. We had previously carried out an inspection in December 2013 when we found the service to be meeting all the regulations we reviewed.

Rochdale Area B is part of Mencap and is registered to provide personal care to people in their own homes. The service specialises in providing support to people with a learning disability. Support is provided both to individuals and to people living in small group settings. At the time of our inspection there were 39 people using the service.

The provider had a registered manager in place as required by the conditions of their registration with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). A registered manager is a person who has registered with the CQC 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 who used the service told us they felt safe with the staff who supported them. They told us there were always staff available to support them to participate in the activities which were important to them. Recruitment processes were robust and should help protect people who used the service from the risk of staff who were unsuitable to work with vulnerable adults.

Staff had received training in the safe administration of medicines. The competence of staff to administer medicines safely was regularly assessed.

Staff told us they had received the training and support they needed to carry out their role effectively. There were systems in place to track the training staff had completed and to plan the training required. Some staff had been identified as ‘top talented’; this meant they were able to access additional professional development opportunities. They were encouraged to share their learning and professional practice across the service.

All the staff we spoke with told us they enjoyed working in the service and felt valued by their managers. Staff felt able to raise any issues of concern in supervision or in staff meetings.

Staff we spoke with had a good understanding of the Mental Capacity Act 2005; this legislation is designed to protect the rights of individuals to make their own decisions wherever possible. All training provided within the service included the principles of the Mental Capacity Act to help ensure staff were aware of how they should promote the rights of people who used the service. The registered manager told us they were aware of the action they should take to ensure any restrictions placed on individuals who used the service in their best interest were legally authorised.

People who used the service had health action plans in place. Records we reviewed showed that people were supported to attend health appointments where necessary. Systems were also in place to ensure that people’s nutritional needs were monitored and met.

We noted positive interactions between staff and people who used the service. People told us the staff who supported them were kind and caring and enabled them to maintain their independence as much as possible. Staff demonstrated a commitment to providing care which would improve the quality of life of the people they were supporting.

Care records we looked at showed people who used the service had been involved in developing and reviewing their support plans. Support plans included good information about the way people wanted their support to be provided and their goals for the future.

All the people we spoke with told us they would feel able to raise any concerns with the managers in the service and were confident they would be listened to. We noted all compliments and complaints were recorded and any concerns had been investigated.

There were a number of quality monitoring systems in place. Both staff and people who used the service were encouraged to comment on the service provided and to identify where any improvements could be made.

Inspection carried out on 31 December 2013

During a routine inspection

All the people we spoke with told us the support staff treated people with respect and made sure their dignity was maintained. Everyone we spoke with told us the staff helped to maintain people’s independence where possible. Comments included “The staff promote choices”, “The staff do most things for my relative but let them chose their own clothes and food”, “The staff prompt me to do things on my own, they won’t do everything for me and they always respect me” and “Mencap are good at promoting dignity”.

People receiving the service had a written plan of care which was periodically reviewed and amended if necessary. One person said “I enjoy going out, I like to go shopping, and today I am going to the panto”.

We saw people were supported in attending any external appointments. One person said “The staff take me to the hospital to have my medications reviewed”.

There were positive comments about the staff. The relatives we spoke with told us “I am happy with the care, the staff support and care is excellent”, “Can’t fault any of the staff”, “The staff understand the needs of the people”.

There were appropriate quality monitoring and auditing processes to help the service provide consistent care of a good quality.

There was an effective complaints system available, in case anyone wished to raise a complaint. None of the people we spoke with had raised a compliant but felt minor issues were dealt with effectively.

Inspection carried out on 2 January 2013

During a routine inspection

During our inspection we visited the main office of Rochdale Area B and two of the shared houses in the scheme. We spoke with three people living in the houses although only one person was able to have an in-depth conversation with us.

We saw evidence that people’s capacity to consent and make their own decisions was always considered. Where people had difficulty making decisions they were supported and if necessary relevant professionals, advocates and family members met to make decisions in the best interests of people.

Records were well organised and provided evidence that people’s needs had been assessed and the correct level of support was provided. We saw that there were enough to provide this support and also have one to one time with people.

Staff encouraged people to eat healthily and referrals were made to medical professionals is dietary advice was needed. We saw that people took responsibility, with support from staff, for keeping their houses clean and free from infection.

Inspection carried out on 16 September 2011

During a routine inspection

Rochdale Area B Mencap Office supports a number people with a learning disability in their own home, including people who live in shared housing. We visited two of these shared houses and met with people who lived there.

We saw that the people we visited were settled and appeared relaxed during our visits in their homes. However, it was difficult for them to speak to us about their experiences of receiving care from the agency. One person was eager to introduce herself and showed us around her bedroom, showing us the things that had meaning to her.