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Archived: Fern House Requires improvement

The provider of this service changed - see new profile

Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating

Requires improvement

Updated 31 October 2018

We carried out an inspection of Fern House on 3 and 4 October 2018. The first day was unannounced.

Fern House is a 'care home'. People in care homes receive accommodation and nursing or personal care as single package under one contractual agreement. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates both the premises and the care provided, and both were looked at during this inspection.

Fern House provides accommodation and care and support for up to six people with a learning disability. The service does not provide nursing care. There were five people living in the home at the time of the inspection.

At the time of our inspection, we were informed the ownership of the home was changing from Mr Shaun Martin Brelsford & Mrs Amanda Jane Brelsford to Affinity Supporting People Limited. Appropriate applications had been forwarded to CQC for consideration. This meant new systems and records were being introduced at the time of our inspection.

Fern House is a large mid terraced house, situated in a quiet residential area close to Burnley town centre. There is an enclosed patio/garden area to the rear of the home. Street car parking is available.

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.

There was a registered manager in place. 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.

At the last inspection on 18 and 19 October 2017 our findings demonstrated there were three breaches of the regulations in respect of risk management processes, medicines management and lack of compliance with the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The service was rated Requires Improvement. Following the last inspection, we asked the provider to complete an action plan to show what they would do to improve the service to at least good and to identify the date when this would be achieved.

During this inspection, we found some improvements had been made to address the breaches in regulation. However, whilst we did not consider the provider to be in breach of the regulations, we found further development was needed in the management of age related risks, the environment and with the management of people’s medicines.

This is the second consecutive time the service has been rated Requires Improvement.

We were aware the proposed new provider was committed to an extensive programme of development which would improve people’s lives. This included changes to the environment, policies and procedures and to the records and systems. During this inspection, we found changes were in progress.

The management of people’s medicines had improved and shortfalls noted at the last inspection had been addressed. However, improvement was needed with regards to the ordering process to ensure people's medicines were always managed safely. The registered manager acted on this at the time of our inspection to prevent this from re-occurring. Staff administering medicines had received training and were deemed competent to do this safely. Policies and procedures had been revised and would guide staff with good practice.

People were happy living in the home and were happy with the facilities provided. They had personalised their bedrooms as they wished and we saw personal touches in the communal areas. However, we found the general cleanliness of the home could be improved and improvements were needed to the environment. We noted that a development plan was in place and extensive refurbishment was due to commence this

Inspection areas


Requires improvement

Updated 31 October 2018

The service was not always safe.

The management of people's medicines had improved although further improvements were needed. People�s medicines were administered by trained and competent staff.

The management of risks to people�s safety and wellbeing had improved although the management of age related risks needed further consideration.

Staffing was provided flexibly to respond to people�s needs. There were enough staff available to provide people with safe care and support. We noted staff were attentive to people�s needs.

People felt safe and protected against the risk of abuse. Staff understood how to protect people and were clear about the action to take if they witnessed or suspected abusive practice.


Requires improvement

Updated 31 October 2018

The service was not always effective.

The environment needed improvement. However, extensive improvements to the environment were due to commence this month. A new system of reporting required repairs and maintenance was in place.

People were encouraged and supported to make their own choices and decisions. Their capacity to make safe decisions and to consent to care had been assessed although further improvements were needed with regards to recording best interest decisions. Staff had received training to improve their understanding of the MCA 2005 legislation.

People enjoyed their meals and their dietary needs and preferences were met. People were supported appropriately with their healthcare.

Staff were provided with a range of training and development which enabled them to meet people's individual needs. Additional training was taking place.



Updated 31 October 2018

The service was caring.

We observed good relationships between staff and people living in the home.

People could maintain relationships with family and friends. There were no restrictions placed on visiting.

Staff respected people's rights to privacy, dignity and independence. Staff respected people's diversity and promoted their rights to be free from discrimination.

People made their own choices and were involved in decisions about their day.



Updated 31 October 2018

The service was responsive.

People had very good opportunities to maintain and develop their skills. They had access to community resources and could pursue their chosen interests and lifestyle choices.

Each person had a care plan that reflected the care and support they needed and wanted. People�s needs and risks were kept under review.

People did not have any complaints or concerns. They knew who to speak to if they had any concerns or complaints and were confident they would be listened to.


Requires improvement

Updated 31 October 2018

The service was not always well led.

There was a registered manager in post who was responsible for the day to day running of the home and who was a visible presence in the service. People who lived at the home, their relatives and staff felt the home was managed well.

There were systems to assess, monitor and improve the quality and safety of the service. Shortfalls that had been identified by the provider�s checks had not been responded to. However, the registered manager and the proposed provider were aware of where improvements were needed and appropriate action was being taken.

There were effective systems in place to seek feedback from people living in the home, visitors and staff.