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Inspection carried out on 15 October 2019

During a routine inspection

About the service

New Ridley Road is two adjoining purpose built bungalows, therefore bigger than most domestic style properties, providing support to people living with a learning disability and/or autism and physical disabilities. It was registered to support up to nine people. Nine people were using the service at the time of inspection. This is larger than current best practice guidance. However, the size of the service having a negative impact on people was mitigated by the use of personalisation in people's own rooms and several areas for communal use. Staff supporting people did not wear a uniform or any identifying clothing that suggested they were care staff when coming and going with people, and people were supported to have access to local community facilities and services.

The service has been developed and designed in line with the principles and values that underpin Registering the Right Support and other best practice guidance. This ensures 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 experience of using this service and what we found

We found staff had recorded two accidents in daily records but had not completed accident forms. This meant the registered manager could not be sure that their checks on trends for accident and incidents were correct. The registered manager reviewed this and addressed this with the staff team to ensure the correct procedure was followed.

Medicines were stored safely and staff were trained to administer them correctly. We found records relating to 'as and when required' medicines and topical creams needed to be improved and the registered manager actioned this immediately.

Staff knew people well and supported people in line with the person’s preferences and wishes.

Staffing levels enabled people’s needs to be met safely, and ensured people received consistent and reliable support. Most staff had worked at the service for over five years and relatives we spoke with said they were caring and very welcoming.

Staff were recruited safely and received appropriate training and support to enable them to carry out their role effectively. People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests; the policies and systems in the service supported this practice.

People were supported to access healthcare services if needed. People were supported to have enough to eat and drink and staff were trained to support people who had different dietary needs.

Interactions we saw between people and the staff team were positive. We saw people given immediate reassurance when they became anxious or distressed.

Care plans were person centred and people were involved in their reviews where they were able. The service actively supported people to engage with advocacy services and one person had ongoing advocacy support they benefitted from.

People were supported to engage in activities they enjoyed and we saw the service promoted people accessing local community facilities and supporting them to go on trips. People and their relatives told us they knew how to make a complaint.

Systems to monitor the quality of the care provided were effective. The staff team told us they were very well supported by the registered manager. We discussed the high level of recording regarding checks on the cleanliness of the home. We felt the number of checks completed was excessive and not in line with the type of community home provided. Staff also said they felt these checks were a burden. The registered manager agreed to review these checks and lessen the burden

Inspection carried out on 27 February 2017

During a routine inspection

New Ridley Road is residential care home based in Stocksfield Northumberland that provides accommodation and personal care and support for up to nine people with a range of physical and learning disabilities including autism spectrum disorders.

At our last inspection in December 2014, the service was rated as ‘Good’. At this inspection we found the service remained ‘Good’ and met all the fundamental standards we inspected against.

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.

Safeguarding procedures were in place and staff were knowledgeable about what action they should take they suspected any person was at risk of abuse or improper treatment. The local authority safeguarding team informed us there were no ongoing safeguarding issues at this current time at the service.

Checks and tests had been carried out on the premises and equipment to ensure they were safe and fit for purpose. The environment throughout the home was clean and we had no concerns about the management of infection control.

Medicines were managed safely. There was one issue with the storage of a particular type of one person's medicines however this was rectified before the end of our inspection.

Staffing numbers were maintained at an appropriate level to meet people's needs. Recruitment checks were carried out to ensure that staff were suitable to work with vulnerable people. Records confirmed that staff had completed training in topics relevant to the needs of people who used the service. Competency assessments were carried out to ensure staff remained skilled in their roles. Staff were supported though an appraisal and supervision system.

People's nutritional needs were met and they were supported to access healthcare services whenever required.

People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible; the policies and systems in the service supported this practice. People's social needs were met through active involvement and engagement in the community and with friends and family.

We observed positive interactions between staff and people who lived at the service. Staff promoted people's privacy and dignity. There were some minor issues related to the protection and promotion of people's dignity. We fed back our findings in this area to the registered manager who addressed these issues with staff during our visit.

The care delivered was person-centred and plans and risk assessments were in place which detailed the individual care and support each person required. These were reviewed and updated when required.

There was an appropriate complaints procedure in place. No complaints had been received since our last inspection.

Audits and checks were carried out to monitor all aspects of the service. Action plans were developed to highlight any areas where improvements were required and these were monitored to ensure that changes were made. The regional manager visited the service on a monthly basis to carry out overall quality monitoring checks. The registered manager was also required to submit a manager's report on a weekly basis about a range of information and statistics related to the operation of the service in that previous week.

Staff were very positive about working at the service. They told us morale was good and gave us very positive feedback about the manager and her approach to running the service.

Further detailed information about our inspection findings can be found in the 'Detailed findings' section below.

Inspection carried out on 9 & 10 December 2014

During a routine inspection

New Ridley Road is a care home that provides accommodation, care and support for up to nine people with physical and personal care needs. There were nine people living at the home at the time of our inspection.

The home had a registered manager who had been registered with the Care Quality Commission to manage the service since October 2010. 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.

Most people who lived at the service were unable to communicate with us verbally due to the nature of their condition. Those who could told us that they felt safe living at the home. There were systems in place to protect people from abuse and channels through which staff could raise concerns. Records showed, and the registered manager confirmed that no safeguarding matters had arisen within the 12 months prior to our inspection. We saw that two safeguarding incidents from the previous 12 months had been handled appropriately and referred on to the local authority safeguarding team for investigation.

A process was in place to assess people’s needs and the risks they were exposed to in their daily lives. Regular health and safety checks were carried out on the premises and on equipment used during care delivery. Care records were regularly reviewed and medicines were managed and administered safely. Recruitment processes were thorough and included checks to ensure that staff employed were of good character, appropriately skilled, and physically and mentally fit. Staffing levels were determined by people’s needs.

Staff records showed they received regular training and that training was up to date. Supervisions and appraisals for staff were conducted regularly and staff confirmed they could feedback their views during these meetings with the registered manager.

CQC monitors the operation of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). DoLS are part of the Mental Capacity Act (2005). These safeguards exist to make sure people are looked after in a way that does not inappropriately restrict their freedom. We saw the registered manager had applied for DoLS for the majority of people living at the home. In addition, although people’s ability to make informed decisions had been assessed, and the ‘best interest’ decision process was followed in practice, these decisions were not always fully documented within people’s care records. The registered manager gave assurances that going forward records held in relation to this would be improved.

People told us, and records confirmed that their general healthcare needs were met. We saw people’s general practitioners were contacted where there were concerns about their welfare and other healthcare professionals were also involved in their care such as psychiatrists. We saw that people’s nutritional needs were considered and specialist advice was sought and implemented where necessary.

Our observations confirmed people experienced care and treatment that protected and promoted their privacy and dignity. Staff displayed caring and compassionate attitudes towards people and people’s relatives spoke highly of the staff team. People had individualised care plans and risk assessments and staff were very aware of people’s individual needs. Regular activities took place within the home and we saw people enjoyed trips out into the community.

Systems were in place to monitor the service provided and care delivered. Where issues were identified, action plans were drafted and monitored. We received positive feedback about the leadership and management of the home, from people, their relatives and staff.

Inspection carried out on 15 September 2013

During a routine inspection

We used a number of different methods to help us understand the experiences of people using the service. This was because the people using the service had complex needs which meant that not all people were able to tell us their experiences.

We found people's needs were assessed and care was planned in line with their needs. One person told us, "I am alright, it is alright here." Another person told us, "I am happy here." One relative told us, "I have confidence in the care and support X gets."

Person centred care plans were in place, which included pictorial information. These were regularly updated and contained clear information about individuals' care. People or their relatives had been involved.

There was appropriate equipment to support individuals in their daily living.

At the time of our visit there were enough qualified, skilled and experienced staff available to meet people's needs. Staff responded promptly to requests for assistance. One person told us, "Everyone here is alright." One relative told us, "The staff know X so well, always helpful and X is very happy."

People's personal records were accurate, fit for purpose and held securely. Staff records were kept in an appropriate form.

Inspection carried out on 10 January 2013

During a routine inspection

We were not able to speak to all of the people who lived at the service because of the nature of their condition. We gathered evidence of people�s experiences of the service by reviewing surveys. We spoke with staff and observed their practices in order to determine how this care and support was carried out.

During our visit we looked at two care plans, spoke to one person who used the service and members of staff. We saw care plans contained information about people's likes and dislikes and recorded how they wanted their care to be delivered. There was evidence people were consulted about their care and their consent was sought about decisions that affected them.

People told us what it was like to live at this home and described how they were treated by staff and their involvement in making choices about their care. People told us, "I am very happy here." Relatives commented, "I have nothing but praise in the way my brother is looked after." Supporting professionals commented, "I have been involved with the home for fifteen years, I've always been happy, lovely kind carers. I have no concerns."

We saw the home was well maintained and furnished to a good standard. People told us their home was clean, comfortable and warm.

Staff recruitment procedures were followed and appropriate checks were undertaken before staff began work.

We found that the provider had an effective system to regularly assess and monitor the quality of service that people received.

Inspection carried out on 21 December 2011

During a routine inspection

People told us they were happy with the care and attention they received at New Ridley Road. They confirmed that they were given choices in life and staff supported them to take some risks and be independent.

Reports under our old system of regulation (including those from before CQC was created)