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Archived: Ashleigh House

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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 17 July 2011
Date of Publication: 1 September 2011
Inspection Report published 1 September 2011 PDF | 37.45 KB

People should be treated with respect, involved in discussions about their care and treatment and able to influence how the service is run (outcome 1)

Meeting this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Understand the care, treatment and support choices available to them.
  • Can express their views, so far as they are able to do so, and are involved in making decisions about their care, treatment and support.
  • Have their privacy, dignity and independence respected.
  • Have their views and experiences taken into account in the way the service is provided and delivered.

How this check was done

We reviewed all the information we hold about this provider, carried out a visit on 17/07/2011, observed how people were being cared for, talked to staff, reviewed information from stakeholders and talked to people who use services.

Our judgement

People are treated with respect and either they or their representatives were involved in

decisions about their care.

User experience

One person said, "I chose to come here myself, my social worker brought me to have a

look around. I have been here now for several weeks, and I intend to make this my

permanent home. I know that I can be difficult at times and shout at people, but I am

now very settled here".

Another said," I came for a couple of visits, and I soon knew that I wanted to live here. I

have been here for 9 months now and I am happy to be here".

Other evidence

The provider declared compliance with this outcome at the point of registration under

the Health & Social Care Act 2008.

We were told by the Area Manager that there had been some major concerns identified

regarding some recent admissions to the service. The registered manager (currently

suspended from duty) had failed to follow the correct policies and procedures in place

for admitting people to the service. For example, for two people admitted to the service

there was no pre-admission assessments completed, and no care plans implemented.

One person was at risk of self harming, but there was no risk assessment implemented.

This meant that support staff were unaware of any potential risks to that person.

During the last 2 weeks we were informed that all service user's pre-admission records,

care records, and risk assessments had all been audited, reviewed and evaluated to

ensure that each person's care, treatment and support needs were fully met.

The acting manager told us that she ensured that risk management procedures were

now being followed in practice.

She said that company policies and procedures would be followed for any new

admissions to the home. For example, pre-admission assessments would be carried

out that involved the service user, family members, advocates and other significant

people. Prospective service users would be invited to visit the home, meet other service

users and staff, and overnight stays would be offered.

We were told that the home also provided people with a brochure and a service users'

guide about the service. We were told that when people were admitted to the home, an initial care plan was drawn up that reflected the needs of the service user. A key worker

would then be identified who worked with the service user and their family to identify

needs in more depth.

The provider told us that for service users who lacked capacity and had no family to

support them, then an advocate would be involved who ensured that their best interests

were considered. We were told that person-centred care plans were drawn up that

reflected the needs and wishes of the service users, and that three and six monthly

reviews of those plans would then take place.

The provider told us that regular service user meetings were held. These meetings

provided the opportunity to discuss activities, menus, care and management


To ensure that health care needs were met, the provider told us that regular

appointments were made to the doctor, dentist, chiropodist and ophthalmologist. When

required, referrals were made to other health care professionals such as

physiotherapists, community psychiatric nurses, district nurses, occupational therapists

and dieticians etc. The support staff escorted people to outpatient appointments.

We were told that service users were encouraged to participate with the local

community, several enjoyed going to local football matches, others regualry go

swimming, one person had visited a local steam train museum, there are pub outing

arranged, and several enjoyed playing bowls at the local park. One person told us that

they are planning to join a local theatre group.

Several people said that they enjoyed playing pool in the new games room within the


We spoke to one service user's parents who told us that they were extremely pleased

with the care and treatment that their daughter received.

They said that staff always kept them informed about their daughter's health and

support needs. They said that they were regular visitors and that staff always made

them welcome during these visits. They said that they had no concerns at all.

As part of our review of the service we spoke to a representative of Darlington Borough

Council's contracting team. We were informed that they were now happy with the

home's admissions procedures, and were happy for new admissions to go ahead. It

was agreed with the provider that no more than one admission per