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Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 24 November 2017

This was an unannounced inspection that took place on 6 October 2017.

Unicorn House is a residential care home that offers accommodation and personal care and support for up to twelve adults with learning disabilities and associated mental health issues.

At the time of our inspection the home 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 and associated Regulations about how the service is run.

At the last inspection on 10 August 2015 the home met all the key questions and was rated good in each with an overall good rating.

Unicorn House was warm and welcoming with people freely coming and going as they pleased. Some people had limited speech and therefore relatives spoke on their behalf. We also based our findings on the observation of staff care practices and people's responses to them. People said and their body language demonstrated that they enjoyed how staff provided care and support for them and that they liked living at the home. During our visit people were engaged in a variety of activities at home and in the community. Staff supported them to choose their activities themselves, when they wished to do them and with whom. They were safe in the home and the local community. There was positive interaction between people and also with staff.

People were given information about any planned activities so that they could decide if they wanted to join in. Staff provided care and support in a friendly, professional and supportive way that was focussed on people as individuals. Staff said they knew people and their likes and dislikes well and this enabled them to provide the care and support that people needed. Staff were well trained, had appropriate skills and made themselves accessible to people. They said that they really enjoyed working at the home and received good training and support from the registered manager.

The home’s records were accessible, kept up to date and covered all relevant aspects of the care and support that people received. This included the choices people made, activities they attended and way their safety was protected. People’s care plans were completed and the information contained was regularly reviewed. This meant staff were able to perform their duties competently and efficiently. People were encouraged and supported by staff to address their health needs and had access to GP’s and other community based health professionals. People were supported to be healthy by choosing nutritious, balanced meals that promoted a healthy diet whilst taking into account their likes, dislikes and preferences. The body language of people with communication difficulties and their smiles showed that they liked the choice and quality of their meals.

Relatives said the registered manager and staff were very approachable, responsive to requests made or concerns raised and frequently encouraged feedback and acted upon it. The registered manager consistently monitored and assessed the quality of the service and encouraged staff to put forward ideas that may improve the quality of peoples’ lives.

People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible with the policies and systems at the home supporting this practice.

The health care professionals that responded to our questions were happy with the support that the home provided for people.

Inspection areas



Updated 24 November 2017

The service was safe.

People were safe and were aware of what abuse was and action to take if encountered. There were effective safeguarding procedures that staff understood, used, and risk assessments for people were in place.

There was evidence the home had improved its practice by learning from incidents that had previously occurred and there were enough staff to meet people�s needs.

Staff had been recruited in a robust way with appropriate checks carried out.

People�s medicine was safely administered and records were completed and up to date. Medicine was regularly audited, safely stored and disposed of.



Updated 24 November 2017

The service was effective.

People�s support needs were assessed and agreed with them. Staff were well trained.

People�s food and fluid intake and diets were monitored within their care plans and people had access to community based health services.

The service had Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) policies and procedures. Staff who were suitably trained carried out mental capacity assessments for people. Staff arranged �best interests� meetings for people as required.



Updated 24 November 2017

The service was caring.

People were valued, respected and involved in planning and decision making about their care. People�s preferences for the way in which they wished to be supported were clearly recorded.

Staff provided good support, care and encouragement to people. They listened to, acknowledged and acted upon people�s opinions, preferences and choices.

People�s privacy and dignity was respected and promoted by staff. Care was centred on people�s individual needs. Staff knew people�s background, interests and personal preferences well and understood their cultural needs.



Updated 24 November 2017

The service was responsive.

People were involved in the assessment process before deciding if they wished to move in.

People decided if they wished to join in with a range of recreational activities at home and within the local community. Their care plans identified the support they needed to be involved in their chosen activities and daily notes confirmed they had taken part.

The home had a complaints procedure and system and people said that any concerns raised were discussed and addressed as a matter of urgency.



Updated 24 November 2017

The service was well-led.

The service had a positive and enabling culture. The registered manager encouraged people to make decisions and staff to take lead responsibility for specific areas of the running of the service.

Staff said they were well supported by the manager.

The quality assurance, feedback and recording systems covered all aspects of the home, constantly monitoring standards and driving improvement.