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Inspection carried out on 4 May 2018

During a routine inspection

Oak Lodge is a care home. People in care homes receive accommodation and nursing or personal care as single package under one contractual agreement. CQC regulates both the premises and the care provided, and both were looked at during this inspection. Oak Lodge provides personal care for up to nine younger adults living with a learning disability or autistic spectrum disorder. There were nine people living in the home when we visited.

The care service has been developed and designed in line with the values that underpin the Registering the Right Support and other best practice guidance. These values include choice, promotion of independence and inclusion. People with learning disabilities and autism using the service can live as ordinary a life as any citizen.

At our last inspection we rated the service Good. At this inspection we found the evidence continued to support the rating of Good and there was no evidence or information from our inspection and ongoing monitoring that demonstrated serious risks or concerns. This inspection report is written in a shorter format because our overall rating of the service has not changed since our last inspection.

People are supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff support them in the least restrictive way possible; the policies and systems in the service support this practice.

There were processes in place to keep people safe from the risk of abuse. Staff knew how to recognise potential signs of abuse and how to report them. People had their risk of harm assessed. There were sufficient numbers of suitable staff to care for people. Medicines were managed safely and there were good infection control practices in place.

People are cared for by staff who have the knowledge and skills to look after them. People are involved in planning their weekly menu and enjoy a healthy and balanced diet and an active lifestyle.

Staff cared for people with kindness and compassion. People were supported to be involved in the service and integrated well with the local community. The provider monitored the quality of the care people received through a robust audit programme.

Further information is in the detailed findings below.

Inspection carried out on 8 June 2016

During a routine inspection

The inspection took place on 8 June 2016 and was announced. 24 hours notice of the inspection was given because people who live at the service are often out of the service taking part in recreational activities. We needed to be sure that they would be in so as we could speak with them.

Oak Lodge is registered to provide accommodation and personal care for up nine people. There were nine people with a learning disability living at the service on the day of our inspection.

There was a registered manager in post at the time of our 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 2008 and associated Regulations about how the service is run.

The Care Quality Commission is required by law to monitor how a provider applies the Mental Capacity Act, 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and to report on what we find. DoLS are in place to protect people where they do not have capacity to make decisions and where it is considered necessary to restrict their freedom in some way. The management and staff understood their responsibility and made appropriate referrals for assessment. One person at the time of our inspection had their freedom lawfully restricted.

People felt safe and were cared for by kind, caring and compassionate staff. People were kept safe because staff undertook appropriate risk assessments for all aspects of their care inside and outside of the service. Care plans were developed to support people’s individual needs. Staff knew what action to take and who to report to if they were concerned about the safety and welfare of the people in their care. People received their prescribed medicine safely from staff that were competent to do so. The registered provider ensured that there were always sufficient numbers of staff on duty to keep people safe.

People were given a nutritious and balanced diet and hot and cold drinks and snacks were available between meals. People had their healthcare needs identified and were able to access healthcare professionals such as their GP. Staff knew how to access specialist professional help when needed.

People were at the centre of the caring process and staff acknowledged them as unique individuals. People told us that staff were kind and caring and we saw examples of good care practice. People were always treated with dignity and respect. People were cared for by staff that were supported to undertake training to improve their knowledge and skills to perform their roles and responsibilities.

People lived busy and active lives and were encouraged to take part in hobbies and interests of their choice. Some people were supported in education, others in work placements, sporting activities and all enjoyed being part of a strong social network. Relatives commented that their loved ones were well looked after and their wellbeing had improved since moving into the service.

People were supported to make decisions about their care and treatment and maintain their independence. People had access to information about how to make a complaint in an easy read format.

The registered provider had robust systems in place to monitor the quality of the service and make improvements. Staff had access to professional development, supervision and feedback on their performance. People, their relatives and staff found the registered manager approachable.

During a check to make sure that the improvements required had been made

On 14 October 2013 we received an action plan from the provider which told us about the actions taken by the registered manager to address the concerns we identified during our last inspection.

The actions taken included the installation of a new bath and replacement of a broken tile. The manager also confirmed the shower chair had been removed and the shower area had been re-tiled. We received confirmation the sealant in the bathroom had been replaced and the exposed pipework had been boxed in.

On 17 January 2014 the manager provided us with a copy of the works schedule and confirmation of completion as detailed.

Inspection carried out on 10 September 2013

During a routine inspection

We looked at three people’s care records which included their care plans, risk assessments and health plans. These were clear, person-centred, detailed and provided up to date information on how their diverse needs should be met.

We observed people helping themselves to a range of hot and cold drinks throughout the day. Alternatively we saw people who were unable to make their own drinks being offered them. One person said, “I like making drinks for people.”

We looked around the home and observed a good overall standard of cleanliness. We saw people’s rooms were clean and communal areas were clean and tidy. The home was free from mal odour.

During our inspection we identified some concerns regarding the safety and suitability of the premises. One bathroom contained a rusting bath whilst another had a large piece of floor tile missing.

We observed staff were attentive to people’s needs. People who lived at the home appeared at ease with the members of staff. We reviewed the staff rotas and saw all shifts for both the previous and next two weeks been covered.

Inspection carried out on 6 December 2012

During a routine inspection

Everyone we spoke with was positive about the staff and felt they fully supported their care needs. People told us staff spoke in a pleasant way with them. One person said, "I think all the staff are nice."

The people we spoke with told us their care was personalised to their needs. People's preferred names were used. They told us they knew staff kept records on them and had seen those records and discussed the content. One person said, "Staff give me my notes to read when I ask them."

People told us they felt safe and if they were concerned about anything they would discuss it with a family member or staff member. One person said, "I feel safe."

People confirmed their views were sought through regular meetings with staff and by questionnaires. This was confirmed in the records reviewed. A person told us, "I can voice my opinions at meetings."

The people we spoke with described staff as caring and calm. They told us staff appeared to know a lot about their individual needs and would answer their questions thoroughly.

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