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Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 24 April 2018

This inspection took place on the 29 and 31 January 2018 and was unannounced. At the previous inspection of this service in October and November 2016 the overall rating was requires improvement. At that inspection we found Breaches of Regulation 18 and19. This was because the provider had not ensured there were enough staff on duty to keep people safe and recruitment processes were not robust. People were not supported to be involved in their community and there was a risk that people may become isolated.

Following the last inspection, we asked the provider to complete an action plan to show what they would do and by when to improve the key questions safe, responsive and well led to at least good. This inspection found improvements had been made and the breaches of regulation met.

Amherst Court is a 'care home'. People in care homes receive accommodation and nursing or personal care as a single package under one contractual agreement. CQC regulates both the premises and the care provided, and both were looked at during this inspection. It is registered to provide support to a maximum of 15 people and 12 people were using the service at the time of our inspection. People who used the service were younger and older adults with mental health needs. Some people may also have alcohol or substance misuse problems.

The service had a registered manager in place. 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.

We undertook this unannounced comprehensive inspection to look at all aspects of the service and to check that the provider had followed their action plan as stated in their provider information return (PIR), and confirm that the service now met legal requirements. We found improvements had been made in the required areas. The overall rating for Amherst Court has been changed to good. We will review the overall rating of good at the next comprehensive inspection, where we will look at all aspects of the service and to ensure the improvements have been sustained.

People were content and relaxed with staff. They said they felt safe and there were sufficient staff to support them. When staff were recruited, their employment history was checked and references obtained. Checks were also undertaken to ensure new staff were safe to work within the care sector. Medicines were managed safely and in accordance with current regulations and guidance. There were systems in place to ensure that medicines had been stored, administered, audited and reviewed appropriately. Risks associated with the environment and equipment had been identified and managed. Emergency procedures were in place in the event of fire and people knew what to do, as did the staff. Staff were knowledgeable and trained in safeguarding adults and what action they should take if they suspected abuse was taking place. Staff had a good understanding of Equality, diversity and human rights. Accidents and incidents were recorded appropriately and steps taken to minimise the risk of similar events happening in the future.

Staff had received essential training and there were opportunities for additional training specific to the needs of the service, including the care of people with specific mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar and korsakoff disease. Formal personal development plans, including two monthly supervisions and annual appraisals were in place. Staff were supported to become ‘champions’ in areas of care delivery such as infection control, medicines and well-being. People were supported to make decisions in their best interests. The registered manager and staff had received training in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Inspection areas



Updated 24 April 2018

Amherst Court was safe and had met the legal breaches previously found.

Robust recruitment procedures ensured only suitable staff worked at the home. There were enough staff working in the home to meet people�s needs.

Risk to people had been assessed. There was clear guidance for staff to follow to reduce the risk, ensure people were independent and made safe choices. Accident and incident were recorded and action was taken to reduce the risk of a re-occurrence.

Staff had attended safeguarding training and had a clear understanding of abuse, how to protect people and who to report to if they had any concerns.

Medicines were managed safely. Staff had attended relevant training, there were systems in place to ensure medicines were given as prescribed and records were accurate.



Updated 24 April 2018

Amherst Court was good.

People were supported to access healthcare support. People's individual needs were met by the adaptations made at the home? and the design of the service.

Staff had the relevant skills and knowledge to deliver care and support to people they supported. Training was provided regularly. Consent to care and treatment was sought in line with legislation

People were supported to eat and drink enough to maintain a balanced diet



Updated 24 April 2018

Amherst Court was caring.

Staff provided the support people wanted, by respecting their choices and enabling people to make decisions about their care.

People�s dignity was protected and staff offered assistance discretely when it was needed.

People were enabled and supported to access the community and maintain relationships with families and friends.



Updated 24 April 2018

Amherst Court was responsive.

Support plans provided staff with detailed information about people and their support needs.

People were involved in planning their own goals and identifying what support they needed to return to independent living.

Feedback from people was sought and their views were listened to and acted upon.



Updated 24 April 2018

Amherst Court was well-led.

Good communication and teamwork was evident. Staff described an open culture where their views were valued.

There was clear leadership and staff understood their roles and responsibilities.

Systems and processes for monitoring quality were effective in driving improvements.