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The Ferns Requires improvement

Inspection Summary


Overall summary & rating

Requires improvement

Updated 6 March 2019

This unannounced comprehensive inspection took place on the 13 December 2018 and the 7 January 2019. On the first day of our inspection we visited the home and spoke with people, their relatives and staff members. On the second day we visited the offices of Autism Together to access various records to complete our inspection.

The Ferns is a ‘care home’. People in care homes receive accommodation and nursing or personal care as single package under one contractual agreement. CQC regulates both the premises and the care provided, and both were looked at during this inspection.

At our previous inspection in March 2016 the service was rated as good. At this inspection the service was rated requires improvement in responsive and well-led and overall rating is requires improvement.

In June 2017, CQC published Registering the Right Support. This along with associated good practice guidance sets out the values and standards of support expected for services supporting people with a learning disability and or autism.

There was evidence that people had benefitted from the support offered to them; however, in its strategy and delivery of support the provider was not always following current best practise guidance, including but not limited to Registering the Right Support. In particular promoting as much as possible that people receiving support are independent and live as ordinary a life as any other citizen.

The Ferns was in a time of change and was being used as people’s home, for short breaks and for people who used the home for a few hours before and after day services. Whilst there was a nice atmosphere in the building it did not feel like people’s home and at peak times it was very busy with lots of distractions.

The home accommodates up to eight people in one purpose built building on a campus with another five registered premises, all providing accommodation and care for people with autism. A total of 59 people can stay on the campus known as ‘Raby’ at any one time. There are also day services provided on the same site. Current best practise guidance promotes housing models that increase opportunities for people’s independence, choice and control.

Some aspects of people’s support and accommodation were institutionalised. When speaking about people and in documents, staff providing support used a lot of organisation based language and jargon that inadvertently promoted a difference between the people supported and other people.

The service requires and 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 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 contributed to a friendly and relaxed atmosphere at the home. It was clear from their interactions that the registered manager knew people well and had positive relationships with them; they were comfortable around him and enjoyed his company. Staff members and people’s relatives told us that they had confidence in the registered manager. One people’s family member told us, “He is an incredible manager, absolutely outstanding…”

People and their relatives told us that they had confidence in the service provided at The Ferns and they thought that the home was safe. One person told us, “They look after me here. I get on well with staff.” Another person’s family member told us, “He really bonds with the staff; which makes me feel more relaxed. He took to it here like a duck to water.”

There was a relaxed atmosphere at the home and people appeared comfortable in all areas of the building, including the office area. We saw friendly interactions between people living at The Ferns and staff members. It was clear that people felt relaxed and comfortable at the home and the use of appropriate humour he

Inspection areas

Safe

Good

Updated 6 March 2019

The service remains good.

Effective

Good

Updated 6 March 2019

The service remains good.

Caring

Good

Updated 6 March 2019

The service remains good.

Responsive

Requires improvement

Updated 6 March 2019

The service has deteriorated to requires improvement.

Well-led

Requires improvement

Updated 6 March 2019

The service has deteriorated to requires improvement.