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Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 15 April 2021

The Briars is a residential care home providing accommodation and personal care to older people, including people living with a cognitive impairment and complex needs. The Briars is a large building that has been adapted to suit the needs of the people living there. The service can support up to 38 people. At the time of the inspection the service was providing support to 22 people.

We found the following examples of good practice.

The registered manager was aware of the recent changes to government guidance, which included people having a designated visitor who could come into the service. This had been safely implemented. People also continued to have contact with loved ones via phone, and video calls as well as window and garden visits.

Staff undertook screening of all visitors, including temperature checks and a questionnaire to determine any risks posed by visitors. Rapid response lateral flow tests (LFT) were undertaken for visitors before they entered the home. Visitors were provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and guided to its safe use.

People and staff were regularly tested for COVID-19. Staff had LFT testing twice a week as well as standard Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests weekly. The registered manager understood the actions they needed to take, should any tests return a positive result.

Staff had clear processes to adhere to both on arrival at the home and throughout their working shift. These included, immediate hand washing, temperature checks and changing into their uniform. The service had installed a hand wash basin in the reception area of the home to support this.

New admissions to the service were supported in line with best practice guidance.

Due to the cognitive impairments of some people living at The Briars, ensuring people maintained social distancing had been challenging for the staff. However, staff have supported people by providing information in a way they could understand and reminding and encouraging them to maintain social distancing. Furniture in the communal areas of the service had been spaced out to ensure people and staff were socially distanced.

The registered manager and staff were very aware of the impact social isolation could have on people’s emotional wellbeing. The service continues to have an activities coordinator in place. The activities coordinator provided one to one support to people who were isolating in their rooms and also provided appropriate activities for people in small groups. The activities coordinator was aware of people’s interests and aimed to ensure people were provided with things to do that followed their individual interests.

The home was kept clean. Staff kept detailed records of their cleaning schedules, which included a rolling program of continuously cleaning high touch surfaces, such as light switches, door handles and call bells.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) was available throughout the home. There were signs to remind staff, visitors and people about the use of PPE, the importance of washing hands, regular use of hand sanitisers and appropriate social distancing.

Staff had received specific infection, prevention and control training which included, hand hygiene and donning and doffing PPE. The management team also completed monthly infection, prevention and control audits. This helped ensure the cleanliness and safety of the service and practices were being followed, as per government guidance.

The provider’s infection control policy had been updated and revised during the pandemic so that people were protected in the event of becoming unwell or in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.

The registered manager was kept up to date with the latest guidance from the provider and also received support with up to date information from the local authority and CCG.

Following an outbreak of COVID-19 in the service, the registered manager was able to describe to us the lessons that had been learned and how some of the ch

Inspection areas



Updated 15 April 2021

Further information is in the detailed findings below.



Updated 15 April 2021



Updated 15 April 2021



Updated 15 April 2021



Updated 15 April 2021