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Inspection carried out on 9 March 2017

During a routine inspection

The Seagulls is registered to provide accommodation and personal care for up to six adults with a learning disability. People living in the service had some physical care needs and some limitations to verbal communication and used body language to express their views. The service also supports people with a dementia. Six people lived at the service at the time of our inspection. This inspection took place on 9 March 2017 and was unannounced. The Seagulls was full with six people living in the service.

The service had a registered manager who was also one of the partners who owned the service. 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.

Some risks to safety had not been fully assessed, identified and responded to. This included the possible risk of fire at night. Staffing deployment and fire procedures at night did not ensure all people could be evacuated safely. The registered manager was following this safety matter up with the fire and rescue service.

People were looked after by staff who knew and understood their individual needs well. Staff treated people with kindness and compassion and supported them to maintain their independence and emotional welfare. People and relatives and visiting professionals were positive about the care, the approach of the staff and atmosphere in the home. Staff showed respect and maintained people’s dignity. People had access to health care professionals when needed.

People’s medicines were stored, administered and disposed of safely by staff that were suitably trained. People were protected from the risk of abuse because staff had a good understanding of safeguarding procedures and knew what actions to take if they believed people were at risk of abuse. Staff were trained on the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). The registered and deputy manager worked with the DoLS assessors to ensure the rights of people were maintained.

Staff were provided with a training programme which supported them to meet people’s needs. Staff were well motivated and given the opportunity to develop their skills. Staff felt well supported and on call arrangements ensured suitable management cover. Recruitment records showed there were systems in place to ensure staff were suitable to work with people who lived in the home.

People had the opportunity to take part in any activity that they wanted to and to socialise with relatives and friends. Staff related to people as individuals and took an interest in what was important to them. Activities and outings arranged took account of people’s choices and preferences. Visitors told us they were warmly welcomed and people were supported in maintaining their own friendships and relationships.

People liked the food provided and were involved in the planning of menus. People had enough to eat and drink and their nutritional needs were assessed and monitored when needed. People were given information on how to make a complaint and any concerns raised were responded to appropriately. There was an open culture at the home and this was promoted by the staff and management arrangements. People were asked for their feedback about the service and this was acted on.

There was an open culture in the service with the registered and deputy manager being visible and approachable. Staff enjoyed working at the home and felt supported. Feedback was regularly sought from people, relatives and staff. People were encouraged to share their views on a daily basis and satisfaction surveys had been completed. People were given information on how to make a complaint and said they were comfortable to raise a concern or to give feedback.

Inspection carried out on 15 December 2015

During a routine inspection

The Seagulls is registered to provide accommodation and personal care for up to six adults with a learning disability. People living in the service had some physical care needs and some limitations to verbal communication and used body language to express their views. The service also supports people with a dementia. Six people lived at the service at the time of our inspection.

This inspection took place on 15 December 2015 and was unannounced.

The service had a registered manager who was also one of the partners who owned the service. 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.

The registered manager had not ensured the service had been thoroughly risk assessed to ensure all suitable measures had been considered and put in place when necessary to ensure people’s health and safety. For example, windows above ground floor and radiators that had not been guarded had not been risk assessed and therefore any possible risk had not been identified and responded to.

Recruitment records showed there were systems in place to ensure staff were suitable to work at the home. However these did not ensure that suitable references were always sourced.

The registered manager had an understanding of the Mental Capacity Act and worked with the local authority to assess people’s mental capacity and to make decisions about their care

Systems for effective management had not been fully established in all areas. For example not all records were up to date and completed in a consistent way.

All feedback received from people. Relatives and visiting professionals through the inspection process was positive about the care, the approach of the staff and atmosphere in the home. Staff treated people with kindness and compassion and supported them to maintain their independence. They showed respect and maintained people’s dignity. People had access to health care professionals when needed.

People told us they had a home at The Seagulls, visitors were warmly welcomed and people were supported in maintaining their own friendships and relationships.

Staff had a clear understanding of the procedures in place to safeguard people from abuse. Medicines were stored, administered and disposed of safely by staff who were suitably trained.

Staff were provided with an induction and training programme which supported them to meet the needs of people. There was a variety of activity and opportunity for interaction taking place, this took account of people’s preferences and choice. People liked the food provided and were involved in the planning of menus. People were given information on how to make a complaint and any concerns raised were responded to appropriately.

There was an open culture at the home and this was promoted by the staff and management arrangements. Feedback from people was asked for and responded to.

Inspection carried out on 15 January 2014

During a routine inspection

During our inspection we spoke with five people who used the service. We also spoke with two care workers, the deputy manager and the provider. We looked at care documentation, staff records, audits and minutes of meetings.

People who used the service told us that they liked living at the home, they were happy with the care they received and that the service met their needs. They told us that staff were “Very kind and caring” and there was always someone around to provide help and support. One person who used the service told us, "I'm very happy here and have no complaints".

We saw that individual care plans provided guidance for care workers, to ensure that the assessed current and on-going support needs of people using the service could be met consistently and safely.

We found that care workers had developed awareness and a sound understanding of each individual's care and support needs.

People were protected against the risks associated with medication because the provider had appropriate arrangements in place to manage medicines.

We saw that the service had effective recruitment procedures in place. Staff told us that they had received regular training and supervision. They said they felt valued and were supported to carry out their roles and meet the needs of people who used the service.

The service had effective systems in place to deal with people's comments and complaints.

Inspection carried out on 4 February 2013

During a routine inspection

During our inspection we found that people living at the home were accommodated in clean, safe surroundings and cared for by well trained, safe staff. The premises were clean, tidy and reasonably well maintained. We found the atmosphere generally relaxed and homely.

In some cases people had been living at the home for more than twelve years and we were able to see that this had enabled them to develop close relationships both with one another and with the staff who cared for them. Care workers were clear on how they needed to support each person in line with their individual care plans. This included maintaining people's independence whilst accommodating their wishes and preferences.

People told us they were involved in making decisions about their care and one who was celebrating their birthday described excitedly how they were going out for lunchtime treat. Staff were preparing a birthday cake for the home to have a celebration tea later in the day. We asked the person what it was like living at the Seagulls and they told us "I like living here, I’ve been here a long time and I am really looking forward to going out for my birthday".

There were weekly meetings held for people living in the home to express their views. The provider had a formal system for monitoring, handling and responding to complaints which was displayed and people told us they were aware of how to use it.

Inspection carried out on 3 October 2012

During a routine inspection

The people who lived at The Seagulls had been there for many years. In some cases this was more than nine years. We could see that this had enabled them to develop close relationships both with one another and with the staff who cared for them. During our visit we found the home to be clean, tidy, homely and with a very relaxed atmosphere.

When we arrived we found that there was only one person at home. The remaining three people who lived in the service were out on a luncheon outing. Staff informed us that the resident who remained at home had preferred not to go out on this occasion and had wanted to do her jigsaw and enjoy the peace. We observed that the member of staff caring for this person was attentive and responsive to her needs. Throughout our visit we saw that her wishes were accommodated in a respectful way that took account of promoting her independence, yet upheld her dignity. The member of staff took time to explain who we were and why we were visiting the home. The resident was able to indicate to us that she was happy for us to be there, although she was reluctant to engage further with us.

In order to gain an insight into the service and understand the view of the people who lived at the Seagulls we used a number of different methods to help us. This consisted of looking at supporting care documentation, speaking with staff and reviewing the mechanisms that the provider had put in place to monitor and improve its service.

Regular monthly reviews that had been undertaken with each of the residents demonstrated that individuals had been able to express their views about the care provided. The records of these meetings were very well documented and maintained and made use of different methods of communication including visual prompts like Makaton. We were able to see that wherever possible people had been supported to maintain their independence and be involved in making decisions about their care and treatment. Comments made at these meetings included “I like being asked if I can help with the shopping”, "I’m really excited about going to college" and "I’m looking forward to my holiday next year".

We spoke with two care workers and they told us they were happy working in the service, the team worked well together and that they had received the training and support they needed to meet individual people’s care needs.

Inspection carried out on 10 November 2010

During a routine inspection

People living at The Seagulls have been there for many years and have clearly developed close relationships both with one another and with the staff. During our visit, the atmosphere was relaxed and very homely. We observed people speaking easily with staff, who were attentive, responsive to their wishes and treated them with dignity and respect.

People spoke positively about their home, the staff and the care and support that they received: ‘The staff are very kind here. We're like one big family’.

Should people be unhappy or concerned about anything they would evidently have no hesitation in speaking to someone: ‘If I wasn't happy about something I would tell the manager or my key worker’.

Overall people were clearly happy living in the home, which they described as clean, safe and comfortable. They are helped and supported to make choices. They also expressed satisfaction with the activities, that reflect their interests and the standard of the meals provided: ‘The food is good here and they ask us what we like’.

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