Stoneswood is a large converted stone built building in its own grounds. It offers accommodation and support for up to 41 people, all in single rooms. At the time of our visit there were 40 people living at the home. The service is also registered to provide personal care to a small number of people living in their own self-contained flats attached to the care home. At the time of this visit the service provider told us no one living in those flats was receiving any personal care.
The inspection was undertaken by one inspector. This summary addresses five key questions: is the service safe; is the service effective; is the service caring; is the service responsive and is the service well led?
This summary is based on a visit to the home where we spoke to the manager and observed staff interactions with people using the service. We looked at records and talked in private with five visiting relatives, three people using the service and two members of staff. We also spoke with a visiting health care professional and a representative of the service provider.
The full report contains the evidence to support this summary.
Is the service safe?
We undertook a tour of the building. This included communal areas and a small selection of people's bedrooms. No obvious hazards to people's health and safety were seen.
People who used the service told us they felt safe and that they had not seen poor practice from any member of staff. Visitors also told us they believed their relative to be safe. One person told us 'everybody seems kind, considerate and welcoming'.
Similarly staff told us that they believed people were safe. Staff told us they understood the need to be vigilant about poor practice and understood their responsibility to whistle blow if necessary.
Staff had access to appropriate equipment to minimise risks of injury to themselves or people who used the service. The equipment was regularly maintained. Staff also had access to and used personal protective equipment (PPE) to help minimise the possibility of cross infection.
Staff members spoke positively about the support they could get from their colleagues and managers. They also told us they were not asked to undertake tasks they were not trained for or did not feel confident to do.
Quality audits included issues relating to health and safety in the building.
Is the service effective?
Each individual's care needs were assessed and reviewed. A care plan was developed on the basis of the assessment.
Staff were made aware of the up to date needs of each individual. Staff told us that communication within the home was good.
People who used the service, and their relatives where appropriate could contribute to decisions about the best way to meet their needs. People who used the service and visitors who we asked, all told us they were listened to by the staff at the home.
People told us they were confident that there was good communication with the staff and they were kept informed of their relative's changing needs. Comments included: 'I can sit and talk [to staff]'; 'You can meet at any time if there are any issues and the manager is always ready to have a word'; '[care is] absolutely brilliant' and 'we discuss [relative's] care needs and they keep me informed'.
People had good access to health and social care professionals in the community.
Is the service caring?
Observations of interactions between staff and people using the service indicated a warm and caring atmosphere.
All people who used the service and their relatives spoke positively about the caring attitude and approach of the staff. Comments included: 'staff are very helpful and will do anything you ask them for'; 'staff look after you very well, [staff] never let you struggle, you just ask and they will help you' and '[Stoneswood] is absolutely smashing ' staff treat me well ' staff who look after me talk to my family'.
A visiting health care professional told us they found the home to be 'very welcoming, staff are always smiling. It is a warm and caring environment'.
One member of staff, when asked what the best thing about the home was, said 'the very pleasant atmosphere. It is an easy, relaxed place with brilliant staff'.
Is the service responsive?
We did not look specifically at the service's complaints procedure at this visit. However, people using the service and visitors who we asked during our visit said they believed they would be listened to if they had a complaint. Staff were confident that the manager and service provider would respond positively to any issues which were raised.
People who used the service and their relatives said that they were comfortable talking to staff and believed that their views were listened to.
There were quality monitoring and quality assurance systems in place. These included responding to suggestions and observations made.
Is the service well led?
A representative of the service provider was present in the home very frequently.
There were clear lines of accountability between the manager and the care staff, including the seniors. This did not detract staff from seeking support from any of their colleagues.
The manager set clear expectations around best practice. They were supportive of staff training and support. One staff member described the manager as 'wonderful' and who was 'fair and can be firm'. A visitor made the observation that "everybody knows Val [the manager] is in charge, but she is very approachable'.