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Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 10 April 2019

About the service: Merlewood House is a residential care home and is registered to provide accommodation and personal care for up to 6 people with autism. CQC regulates both the premises and the care provided, and both were looked at during this inspection. At the time of our inspection, 4 people were using the service.

The service had 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, rights, independence and social inclusion. This was to support people using the service in living their life as other citizens.

People’s experience of using this service: A relative told us, “It gives me peace of mind knowing [my relative] is there. It’s marvellous.”

We observed people were relaxed and content in the company of staff and managers. Staff were aware of the signs and indicators of abuse and they knew what to do if they had any concerns. Staff had received training on positively responding to people’s behaviours and safeguarding and protection matters. Relatives told us they felt people were safe at the service.

Processes were in place to make sure all appropriate checks were carried out before staff started working at the service. There were enough staff available to provide care and support; staffing arrangements were kept under review.

The provider had arrangements to promote the safety of the premises, this included maintenance, servicing and checking systems. There was a good standard of décor and furnishings to provide for people's individual needs, comfort and wellbeing.

People's needs were assessed, planned for and reviewed. Each person had a care plan which was designed to ensure their needs and choices were met. People were supported with their health and well-being, changes were monitored and responded to. Where necessary, people received appropriate medical attention. The service followed good processes to manage people's medicines safely, in a person-centred way.

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 at the service supported this practice. People had opportunity to develop their independence skills, gain confidence and try new experiences.

Relatives made positive comments about the caring attitude of staff. We observed staff interacted with people in a kind, pleasant and friendly manner. Staff knew people very well and they were respectful of their choices and preferred routines. People’s privacy and dignity was respected.

There were opportunities for people to engage in a wide range of community and in-house activities. People were supported to keep in touch with their families. Visiting arrangements were flexible, relatives said they were made welcome at the service.

People were offered a variety of meals and drinks; healthy eating was promoted and monitored. Individual needs and choices were known and catered for.

The service had creatively responded to and managed people’s complaints. Relatives had an awareness of the service's complaints procedure and processes and were confident in raising concerns.

The provider had arrangements to encourage people to express their views and be consulted about Merlewood House. They had opportunities to give feedback on their experience of the service and make suggestions for improvements. Managers and staff completed regular checks on quality, systems and processes.

We found there were management and leadership arrangements in place to support the effective day to day running of the service. Progress was ongoing to ensure the management arrangements met legal requirements.

Rating at last inspection: Good (21 July 2016)

Why we inspected: This inspection was part of our scheduled plan of visiting services to check the safety and quality of care people received.

Follow up: We will plan a follow up inspection as per our inspecti

Inspection areas



Updated 10 April 2019

The service remained safe.

Details are in our Safe findings below.



Updated 10 April 2019

The service remained effective.

Details are in our Effective findings below.



Updated 10 April 2019

The service remained caring.

Details are in our Caring findings below.



Updated 10 April 2019

The service remained responsive.

Details are in our Responsive findings below.



Updated 10 April 2019

The service remained well-led.

Details are in our Well-Led findings below.