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Autism Wessex-Community Support Service West Good

We are carrying out a review of quality at Autism Wessex-Community Support Service West. We will publish a report when our review is complete. Find out more about our inspection reports.


Inspection carried out on 23 March 2018

During a routine inspection

This inspection took place on 23 and 26 March 2018 and was announced. The inspection was undertaken by two inspectors.

This service provides care and support to people living in their own homes and in one 'supported living' setting. People's care and housing are provided under separate contractual agreements. CQC does not regulate premises used for supported living; this inspection looked at people’s personal care and support. There were seven people being supported by this service at the time of the inspection.

The care service has been developed and designed in line with the values that underpin the Registering the Right Support CQC policy and other best practice guidance. These values include choice, promotion of independence and inclusion.

Not everyone using Autism Wessex-Community Support Service West service received the regulated activity personal care. CQC only inspects the service being received by people provided with 'personal care'; help with tasks related to personal hygiene and eating. Where they do we also take into account any wider social care provided.

There was a registered manager in place. 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.

We last inspected Autism Wessex-Community Support Service West in December 2016. At that Inspection the service was rated overall requires improvement with a rating of good in caring and responsive. This included improvements to the arrangement for the safe administration of medicines, the assessment of people’s mental capacity, how the management of risks were documented and the approach to oversight and governance. At this inspection we found that improvements had been made and the service was now good in all areas.

People were safe. Staff understood their roles and responsibilities to safeguard people from the risk of harm and risks to people were assessed and monitored regularly.

Staffing levels ensured that people's care and support needs were continued to be met safely and safe recruitment processes continued to be in place.

Staff understood the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and how to support people's best interest if they lacked capacity. However assessments were not recorded.

People's needs and choices continued to be assessed and their care provided in line with up to date guidance and best practice. People received care from staff that had received training and support to carry out their roles.

Risks continued to be assessed and recorded by staff to protect people. There were systems in place to monitor incidents and accidents. There were arrangements in place for the service to make sure that action was taken and lessons learned when things went wrong, to improve safety across the service.

Staff understood how to prevent and manage behaviours that the service may find challenging.

Staff continued to support people to book and attend appointments with healthcare professionals, and supported them to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The service worked with other organisations to ensure that people received coordinated and person-centred care and support.

Medicines were managed safely. The processes in place ensured that the administration and handling of medicines were suitable for the people who used the service.

Staff were caring and compassionate. People were treated with dignity and respect and staff ensured their privacy was maintained. People were encouraged to make decisions about how their care was provided.

Staff had a good understanding of people's needs and preferences.

People, relatives and staff were encouraged to provide feedback about the service and it was used to drive improvement.

Quality assurance audits were carried out to identify any shortfall

Inspection carried out on 9 December 2016

During a routine inspection

The inspection took place on 9,12 and 15 December 2016 and was announced. Autism Wessex Community Support West is registered to provide personal care to people living in their own homes. At the time of our inspection, the service was providing support to 24 adults and 13 children. The service was run from an office In Dorchester and provided a combination of live in support and shorter visits with people in their own homes.

The service 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.

Peoples risks were not consistently recorded. Support was effective when staff knew the person well, but had the potential to not be safe if staff did not know the person. This was because records did not clearly identify the risks people faced or how to manage these.

Medicines were administered as prescribed but there was an error in how one medicine was managed which required additional checks by staff. This was addressed promptly by the deputy managers who identified an immediate plan for the additional checks to be made as outlined in the service’s medicines policy.

People’s capacity was not consistently assessed in line with the Mental Capacity Act(MCA). Where people needed decisions to be made in their best interests, these had been assessed and clearly recorded. However capacity assessments were not completed appropriately which meant that the service was not consistently recording consent from people in line with MCA.

Quality assurance was not consistently effective because measures in place did not identify the issues we found with regard to risk management, recording in medicines and recording peoples capacity.

Staff were recruited safely and received training which was appropriate to the needs of the people they were supporting. They spoke positively about their induction into the role and people and relatives felt that staff had the correct knowledge and skills to support them. Staff received regular supervision form their line manager and felt supported and valued in their role.

People were supported by staff who understood their role in protecting adults and children from abuse and were able to tell us about the signs of abuse. Staff received separate training in protecting adults and children and were confident to report any concerns or to whistle blow if this was required.

People were supported to make choices about all aspects of their daily life. This included what they wanted to eat and drink, what activities they were involved in and how they wanted to be supported. Staff understood peoples individual likes and dislikes and how they preferred to receive their support and knew how to communicate with people in a way they chose.

People had prompt access to healthcare services when required and the service worked in a multi-disciplinary way with a range of other professionals and loved ones involved in people’s support to ensure that discussions and improvements were identified and made to people’s care when required.

Staff were kind and caring and we observed that people were relaxed and had a clear rapport with staff. Staff were familiar to people and supported people in a way which was respectful. Relatives and people were involved in planning and agreeing what support people received and felt that staff knew people well.

People were supported to access a range of activities and work opportunities and we saw that children and adults spent time in ways they had chosen and that staff were flexible and responsive to changing needs.

People’s support was reviewed regularly and staff met as a team to discuss any concerns or changes a person needed to the support they received. People and relatives were aware

Inspection carried out on 17 January 2014

During a routine inspection

On the day of the inspection the provider told us they were providing support for thirty people who use this service, in a variety of ways and settings. We observed three people being supported in differing settings by the provider. We looked at three care records and spoke with the two deputy managers and two members of staff. During the inspection we also spoke with three professionals who were involved in the care and support of people using the service. We looked at the documents held by the provider and spoke with two relatives, one told us “absolutely get the support they need, they’re brilliant” the other relative told us “they’re fantastic, done a lot of respite”.

We looked at three care records they clearly set out people’s needs and preferences and gave detailed guidance on how people should be supported. During our inspection we saw a range of ways in which people who use the service were supported. One person who uses the service told us the support they got was “amazing, socialise more, I can be myself”.

The staff we spoke with told us that the management was supportive and that they had received training that equipped them with the right skills to support the people who used the service. Staff were able to describe safeguarding procedures and their role in keeping people safe.

The provider had systems in place to monitor the ongoing performance of the service.

Inspection carried out on 30 March 2013

During a routine inspection

People were generally satisfied with the support provided by Autism Wessex- Community Support West. One person's relative told us, "The staff are very competent and well trained."

We examined care files and saw that care plans were detailed and personalised. We saw that documents about people's care were compiled using images so that they would more easily understand what they were about. We found that any risks that could affect people were assessed and managed, and people had positive behaviour support strategies to help them if they felt anxious, angry or upset. We found that consistency was important to people receiving care and there had been a period where unfamiliar staff provided more of their support. The manager told us that the situation was now resolved and regular staff would provide people's support.

We found that people were as involved as possible in decisions about their support and that their representatives, where required, were kept informed about their care. We saw that the provider had an effective system for recording and responding to complaints and comments.