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Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 7 May 2020

About the service

Martha House is a residential care home, providing nursing care, for adults with learning disabilities, autistic spectrum disorder and physical disability. Most people living at the service had profound conditions, complex care needs and were unable to communicate verbally.

There are two houses on site, Martha House and Frances House, both houses were included in our inspection. The site, including both of the houses are registered with CQC under one location name, Martha House.

At the time of our inspection, there were 14 people living in Martha house and eight people living in Frances house. There was a vacant room in Martha House in which people stayed for respite care. Both houses were purpose built, they provided accommodation for people on the ground floor, they were spacious, well equipped and welcoming. The site included a specialty activity suite with a hydrotherapy pool, a quieter area equipped with touchscreen televisions and specialist eye gaze equipment. Eye gaze is a system which enables some people to communicate by tracking their eye movement. There was also a communal area used for some events and social activities.

The service had not been developed and designed in line with the principles and values that underpin Registering the Right Support and other best practice guidance. Martha House was designed, built and registered before the guidance was published. The service was a large home, bigger than most domestic style properties. It was registered for the support of up to 23 people and 22 people were using the service. This is larger than current best practice guidance.

However, as to the size of the service having a negative impact on people, this was mitigated by the building design fitting into the residential area and the other domestic homes of a similar size. There were deliberately no identifying signs, intercom, cameras, visible industrial bins or anything else outside to indicate it was a care home. Staff were also discouraged from wearing anything that suggested they were care staff when coming and going with people.

While the design of the service did not meet current guidance, the service had however applied the principles and values of Registering the Right Support and other best practice guidance. This ensured that people who use the service can live as full a life as possible and achieve the best possible outcomes. The principles reflect the need for people with learning disabilities and/or autism to live meaningful lives that include control, choice, and independence. People using the service receive planned and co-ordinated person-centred support that is appropriate and inclusive for them. People's participation within the local community was encouraged and enabled.

People’s experience of using this service and what we found

People were supported to stay safe, relatives told us they did not have any concerns about the support people received. They were, without exception, very complimentary about the service, its staff and management as well as the support people received. Relatives we spoke with told us they found the staff were, “Exceptionally caring.”

Peoples needs were assessed before they moved to the service and further assessments were completed to ensure changing needs were met. Risks to people’s health, safety and welfare were assessed, identified and regularly reviewed. Accidents and incidents were recorded, analysed and used to inform learning to reduce the risk of reoccurrence.

There were enough staff to meet people's needs. Staff had a good knowledge of people’s support and communication needs. Medicines were managed safely, all staff administering medicines were trained and competency checked to ensure mistakes were minimised. Staff understood how to recognise abuse and the processes to follow should they have any concerns.

People’s capacity to make specific decisions was assessed and, where needed, best interest decisions were made with the in

Inspection areas



Updated 7 May 2020

The service was safe.

Details are in our safe findings below.



Updated 7 May 2020

The service was effective.

Details are in our effective findings below.



Updated 7 May 2020

The service was caring.

Details are in our caring findings below.



Updated 7 May 2020

The service was responsive.

Details are in our responsive findings below.



Updated 7 May 2020

The service was well-led.

Details are in our well-Led findings below.