This inspection took place on 11 and 12 November 2014 and was unannounced. At our last inspection in December 2013 the service was meeting all the regulations we looked at.
Norton House provides accommodation and personal care for up to 40 older people. There is long-term accommodation for 30 people and a respite and re-enablement service for up to 10 people on the second floor of the home. This is for people who have been discharged from acute services for a period of re-enablement in preparation for returning home or being referred for long term care. People normally spend about eight weeks on this unit before moving on.
There was a registered manager in post who assisted us throughout the two days of the inspection. 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 and associated Regulations about how the service is run.
People told us they felt safe and secure at the home and safe with the staff who supported them. One person told us, “They take great care of me.”
We asked one person how they were getting on at the home and they told us, “I’m flourishing.”
The registered manager took appropriate action where people had concerns about their safety.
The management and staff at the home had identified and highlighted potential risks to people’s safety and had thought out and recorded how these risks could be minimised.
People told us that staff were kind and compassionate towards them and listened to what they had to say. One person commented, “They really are first rate.” A relative told us, “Staff treat mum with dignity, honesty and integrity. I am very pleased.”
The respite and re-enablement service, provided on the second floor of the home, required some improvements. People using this service told us they were unclear about how long they should be in the unit and why they were there. The rooms in the unit were not up to the same standard as other rooms in the home and looked sparse.
Staff understood the principles of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA 2005) and we observed staff asking people for permission before carrying out any required tasks for them. We noted staff waited for the person’s consent before they went ahead. People told us that the staff did not do anything they didn’t want them to do.
People were very positive about the food provided. We saw that people were offered choices and alternatives if they wanted. People said that the chef consulted them about their likes and dislikes and that regular food surveys and tasting sessions were conducted. People’s comments about the food included, “They’re always asking me what I want to eat,” “The cook is excellent” and “I’ve got no complaints about the food.”
People and their relatives said they had good access to other healthcare professionals such as dentists, chiropodists and opticians.
People said staff were able to spend time with them, getting to know them and how they were feeling and we observed staff sitting and chatting to people. One person commented, “We have well spent time together.”
People we spoke with were positive about the registered manager and management of the home and confirmed that they were asked about the quality of the service and had made comments about this. They felt the service took their views into account in order to improve service delivery.