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Inspection carried out on 25 February 2019

During a routine inspection

About the service:

Cherry Trees can accommodate up to nine people. The home specialises in supporting adults who have autism. The home is situated close to the sea front, shops and leisure facilities. Bedrooms are for single occupancy and the home is staffed 24 hours a day.

People’s experience of using this service:

Staff understood their responsibilities to protect people from abuse and discrimination. They knew to report any concerns and ensure action was taken. The registered manager worked with the local authority safeguarding adults team to protect people.

Staff were trained and supported to be skilled and efficient in their roles. They were very happy about the level of training and support they received and showed competence when supporting people.

Recruitment, staffing, medicine management, infection control and upkeep of the premises protected people from unsafe situations and harm.

The premises provided people with a variety of spaces for their use with relevant facilities to meet their needs. Bedrooms were very individual and age and gender appropriate.

Staff promoted people’s dignity and privacy. Staff provided person-centred support by listening to people and engaging them at every opportunity. Staff were very kind and caring and people using the service were calm and comfortable in the presence of staff.

Support plans were detailed and reviewed with the person when possible, staff who supported the person and family members. Staff looked to identify best practise and used this to people’s benefit. Staff worked with and took advice from health care professionals. People’s health care needs were met.

People had a variety of internal activities and external activities, such as visiting a day centre which they enjoyed on a regular basis.

The registered manager ran a well organised service. Relatives’ views were sought, and opportunities taken to improve the service. Although formal supervisions were not up to date, staff were supervised informally; they told us they were supported and clear about what was expected of them. Audits and checks were carried out, so any problem could be identified and rectified.

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.

The care service supported people in line with the values that underpin the Registering the Right Support and other best practice guidelines. 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.

The service met characteristics of Good in all areas; more information is in the full report.

Rating at last inspection: Cherry Trees was rated Good at the last inspection. The report was published on 13 September 2016.

Why we inspected: This was a scheduled comprehensive inspection.

Inspection carried out on 8 August 2016

During a routine inspection

This inspection took place on 8 August 2016 and was an unannounced inspection. It was carried out by one adult social care inspector.

Cherry Trees provides accommodation and personal care for up to nine people who have autism. The home is situated in a quiet residential area close to the town centre and sea front. The home promotes a homely environment which is domestic in style. Each person has their own bedroom. The home is staffed 24 hours a day.

At the last inspection carried out in January 2014 we did not identify any concerns with the care provided to people.

At the time of this inspection there were nine people living at the home. The people we met with had complex learning disabilities and were not able to tell us about their experiences of life at the home. We therefore used our observations of care and our discussions with staff to help form our judgements.

There was a registered manager in post. 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.

People were supported by a caring staff team who knew them well. Staff morale was good and there was a happy and relaxed atmosphere in the home.

Routines in the home were flexible and were based around the needs and preferences of the people who lived there. People were able to plan their day with staff and they were supported to access social and leisure activities in the home and local community. There was an emphasis on enabling people to be as independent as they could be and to live a happy and fulfilling life.

The home was a safe place for people. Staffing levels were good and staff understood people’s needs and provided the care and support they needed.

Staff knew how to recognise and report abuse. They had received training in safeguarding adults from abuse and they knew the procedures to follow if they had concerns.

People’s health care needs were monitored and met. People received good support from health and social care professionals. Staff were skilled at communicating with people, especially if people were unable to communicate verbally.

People contributed to the assessment and planning of their care as far as they were able. Care plans showed that people and their relatives attended “Person Centred Reviews” where they could discuss the care and support their relative received.

People were always asked for their consent before staff assisted them with any tasks and staff knew the procedures to follow to make sure peoples legal and human rights were protected.

There were effective systems in place to monitor and improve the quality of the service provided.

Inspection carried out on 14 January 2014

During a routine inspection

People's rights were protected. The staff we spoke with demonstrated a good understanding of how to support people to make decisions. They knew the procedures to follow where an individual lacked the capacity to consent to their care and treatment.

People’s health care needs had been monitored and appropriately responded to. Information about people’s health needs and contact with health and social care professionals had been recorded.

The home followed appropriate procedures for the safe management and administration of people’s medicines.

We found all areas of the home to be well maintained. The standard of décor and furnishings was good and helped to promote a homely feel.

Systems were in place to monitor and improve the quality of the service people received.

Inspection carried out on 24 May 2012

During a routine inspection

We used a number of different methods including observations and conversations to help us understand the experiences of people who lived in the home. People had complex needs which meant they were not fully able to talk to us about their experiences. Some people who lived in the home were able to tell us that they thought their care and the staff that looked after them was “good”.

During our visit one person’s relatives were visiting the home to collect their relative for a holiday. They told us that they were very pleased with the care that their relative received. They said in the last year there had been many changes in the home. They said that although the changes were initially difficult to get used to for people who lived in the home things had now settled down. They could see noticeable improvements in their relatives care. This included increases in activities and encouraging independence for people. They said that every time they visited their relative they noticed an improvement in their vocabulary.

Relatives spoken with told us that the communication within the home was good and they were involved in aspects of their relative’s care. They had attended their relative’s person centred planning meeting on the day we visited. This involved creating objectives for their individual learning for the year ahead.

The home captured people’s views by holding weekly residents’ meetings. We saw the minutes of the last meeting. People took an active role in the meetings by taking it in turns to read the last minutes and making decisions about what activities they would like to take part in.

Inspection carried out on 14 December 2011

During an inspection in response to concerns

People who lived in the home had communication difficulties but we did speak with most people before they left the home to attend their usual day services and spoke with staff. People told us they thought the care they received was ‘good’. We saw how staff interacted with people who lived in the home. Their interaction was observed to be kind and respectful.

During our visit we spoke with a relative who told us “I don’t think (relative) would find a better home for his needs”. They said that they were always welcomed by staff and could visit anytime. They told us they were involved when their relative had a review of how their relative's care was provided and were able to suggest ideas for improvement.

People who lived in the home that had limited communication skills were able to tell us they felt safe in the home and felt they were well looked after by the staff.

A relative we spoke with told us they felt comfortable to bring up any issues or concerns with management and felt their concern would be listened to and dealt with seriously.

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