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Archived: Avalon Enterprise (UK) Limited Good

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Inspection carried out on 26 October 2016

During a routine inspection

The inspection took place on 26 October 2016 and was announced.

Avalon Enterprises Ltd UK provides domiciliary care and support services to people with a learning disability living in their own homes. The service is based in an office in the basement of one of the homes, but has a separate entrance. The office is open during office hours and an on call system is in place outside of these times. The service currently provides support to 12 people with personal care, they also support another 35 people with independent living skills, in Thanet, Ashford, Canterbury and Faversham. Some people have their own flats and others share a house.

The service has a registered manager in place and they have been in this role since 2012.

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.

There were two locality managers who supported the registered manager at different locations; they were supported by staff known as ‘senior lifestyle mentors’ and ‘lifestyle mentors’.

People were safe and were supported to try new things and take risks. They were able to plan their own support and chose their staff. People knew about safeguarding and who to talk to if they were worried. They could contact the registered manager or director directly and did so.

Staff were recruited safely and people were involved in the interview process. Staff had an induction and were introduced to people by established staff before supporting them. Staff were offered training to meet the needs of people they supported. Staff were in regular contact with the management team and had regular one to one meetings. There were enough staff to meet people’s needs and they told us they felt supported.

Medicines were managed safely and people were encouraged to be as involved as possible with their medicines. Staff worked closely with local health and social care professionals to manage people’s health and develop new opportunities for them. When people’s needs changed advice was sought and followed to make sure the service could still meet people’s needs safely.

People had good relationships with staff who supported them. Staff knew people well and treated them with dignity and respect. People were encouraged to express their opinions and be involved in planning their care.

The care plans reflected people’s preferences and how they liked to be supported. People’s hobbies and interests were supported and many did voluntary work which the staff had supported them to find. People had support to eat healthily and planned their own menus.

When complaints were received they were investigated and responded to. People’s confidentiality was respected and records were stored securely. Staff had some understanding of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA), the registered manager said this was an area for further training. The Care Quality Commission is required by law to monitor the operation of the Deprivation of Liberty

Safeguards (DoLS). For people who live in their own homes this is managed by the Court of Protection (COP). No applications had been made for people as no one needed one.

There was an open and person centred culture, people and staff could contact or visit the office whenever they wanted to. The registered manager visited people regularly to check they were happy with the service and was accessible to people, professionals and staff. Views were sought from people, relatives and professionals and were acted on.

The CQC had been informed of any important events that occurred at the service, in line with current legislation.

Inspection carried out on 23 August 2013

During a routine inspection

People told us that they felt well supported. One person told us "The people who work with me do a good job. I am learning to do things for myself”. A relative we spoke to told us “I am very impressed with the help and support my relative receives they have come on leaps and bounds and they are really happy”.

We saw that care plans had been written in a way that people who used the service could understand and that they were regularly reviewed based on people's individual assessments of their needs and contained detailed information. We saw evidence of monitoring and regular evaluations of the support that was provided, together with involvement and liaison with relatives and various health professionals, to ensure they were kept informed of changes in people's conditions when necessary.

We found that the provider had implemented ways to gather feedback on the service from people, as well as informal discussions with people about how to improve the service.

We found that the provider had introduced robust recruitment processes and procedures and that all staff had received criminal records checks. Staff we spoke to told us that they knew the people who used the service well.

We saw evidence that the provider had sought advice and guidance from outside professionals in regards to managing risks and behaviours that challenge and that monitoring and auditing processes had been introduced to ensure peoples care plans remained up to date and fit for purpose.

Inspection carried out on 14 February 2013

During a routine inspection

People told us that they valued the support they gained from Avalon Enterprises. One person told us "I was told I couldn't be independent by people who knew me, but Avalon and my lifestyle mentors (staff members) have helped me prove them wrong. I go out when I want and do my own shopping and cleaning and I am happy, but I still need help with cooking". Another person said " I look forward to my support, everyone is really nice and we have lots of fun and I learn new things".

We found evidence that people had shown improvements in their skill level as the person led support plans highlighted each individuals personal journey in becoming independent.safely. In addition, we saw that people received ongoing assessments and this enabled them to make informed choices about the support they received, when they wanted it and how it was delivered. For example, some people wanted support with learning to travel independently whilst others wanted support with menu planning and meal preparation.

We found that Avalon Enterprises focused on building peoples confidence whilst they learned the skills to become independent. Professionals we spoke to told us, " Avalon enterprises often go the extra mile, they are an excellent service and devise person centred support plans which include the input of the individual people who use the service. They are person focused and many people who use their service show a considerable improvement in their skills and their quality of life.

Inspection carried out on 19 October 2011

During a routine inspection

People told us that they felt safe in their environments and comfortable with the staff.

People told us that they were supported to access services in the community. They told us that they were able to make their own choices and could decide what they would do each day.

People said that staff supported them to be independent. They helped them to reach their personal goals and had plans in place so they knew which steps they needed to take.

People said that they were healthy and staff took them to their doctor or dentist appointments if they needed them to.

People said that they would talk to the managers if they had any problems. They said if they weren’t happy with anything they were listened to.