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Inspection Summary


Overall summary & rating

Good

Updated 27 June 2019

About the service: Helen House is a residential care home for people who have autism. The main part of the building is being redeveloped and is currently not occupied. Accommodation and support is provided for three people within one part of the home, in three self-contained flats.

People’s experience of using this service: The three people living at Helen House were supported by individualised, consistent and long-standing staff teams. There was evidence that people had really benefitted from this approach. People were supported to make as many decisions as possible in their lives and support. They were supported to communicate their decisions and to express themselves. Some staff had supported people for over ten years; however, whilst knowing the person well they did not assume what decisions they would make and asked people before they supported them.

As much as possible people were in control and took ownership of their own flats. One person told us, “I like my flat.” Another person said, “My flat is nice.” Staff treated people with dignity and respect and told us they recognised that they were visitors in the person’s home.

Some areas of people’s support were not in line with the principles of Registering the Right Support. Helen House is on a campus setting with other services for people who have autism. However, this was mitigated by the application of the principles of Registering the Right Support in the individualised approach to people’s day to day support, staff team and accommodation. People had as much control as possible over their lives.

People and their family members told us they felt the home was safe. People had individualised risk assessments that provided guidance for staff on how to keep people safe. Staff received training and regular refreshers on how to support people during risky situations and how to safely de-escalate these situations. Staff told us they found this training useful.

People told us that they were happy with the support they received. One person told us that they really enjoyed joking with support staff. Another person told us, “[Its] nice living here” It was clear that people had good relationships with and were comfortable with the staff supporting them.

Each person had a personalised support plan that was meaningful to them and offered guidance for staff on how to best meet people’s needs. Support plans contained details of what was important to a person, including important relationships, along with short- and long-term goals. They also contained details on how to support people when they are anxious, a sensory profile highlighting what is to be avoided that a person does not like; and details such as how a person understands time. This level of thought and detail helped staff to meet people’s needs and maximise their control over their life.

People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests; the policies and systems in the service supported this practice.

Staff praised the support they received from the registered manager and other senior staff. There was ongoing training provided, regular supervision, team meetings and an annual appraisal of staff performance. One staff member told us, “It feels like the organisation care about me. I feel listened to.”

Rating at last inspection: At our previous inspection published in October 2016 we rated the service as Good. During this inspection we saw that this rating had been maintained.

Why we inspected: This was a scheduled inspection based on previous rating.

Follow up: We will continue to monitor the service and will inspect again in accordance with our inspection principles.

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

Inspection areas

Safe

Good

Updated 27 June 2019

The service was safe

Effective

Good

Updated 27 June 2019

The service was effective

Caring

Good

Updated 27 June 2019

The service was caring

Responsive

Good

Updated 27 June 2019

The service was responsive

Well-led

Good

Updated 27 June 2019

The service was well-led