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National Star College - Ullenwood Outstanding

Reports


Inspection carried out on 27 November 2017

During a routine inspection

The National Star College is a charity which is registered to provide accommodation for up to 88 men and women with a physical disability and/ or learning disability or autistic spectrum disorder. The college also offers short breaks during college holidays to people with a physical and/or learning disability. At the time of our inspection there were 77 people staying at the college.

The inspection took place on 27, 28 and 29 November 2017. This was an unannounced inspection. The service was last inspected in June 2015 and was rated ‘Outstanding’ overall. At this inspection the service has again been rated ‘Outstanding’ overall. Our inspection looked at the residential accommodation, healthcare provision and the care and support for students outside their educational curriculum. Across the college campus there are seven residential units which were accessible to people who use wheelchairs. The college was also registered to provide the regulated activity of personal care. At the time of our inspection no one living in their own home was in receipt of personal care from the college.

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.

The National Star College is an outstanding service. It is focussed on the individual needs of the people. The service ensured that everyone received good quality, care regardless of diagnosis, age, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or social circumstances.

The vision of National Star Foundation and the National Star College was to promote “A world in which people with disabilities are able to realise their potential as equal and active citizens in control of their lives”. All staff and senior management demonstrated this clear vision and a highly positive person centred culture was seen throughout. Staff had set high standards for themselves and this promoted an exceptionally positive culture which challenged disability perceptions and had improved the confidence of people and the opportunities available to them.

People were supported to focus on making a positive contribution to others, the college and the community and achieve their potential. We saw examples of young people coaching school age students, showcasing work skills in several of the provider’s social enterprises and external work placements. Young people had been supported to actively campaign to improve rights and entitlements for people with disabilities. Throughout the inspection, we found young people and staff were motivated and passionate about equality and empowering people to live the lives they want.

People and carers spoke overwhelmingly of the positive support, guidance and healthcare interventions people had received. They were full of praise for the staff in terms of their kindness and compassion. People were 'very happy' with the service they received. We received positive comments about their views and experiences. People told us they felt safe because the staff were "Caring and enjoyed what they did". People and their families viewed the staff as experts in their knowledge and skills when supporting people with complex health needs.

Outstanding safeguarding systems and processes had been implemented to ensure the safety and well-being of the people using the service. People's risks were continually assessed, identified and managed exceptionally well and their care needs were met to a very high standard. The provider encouraged and empowered students and staff to have the confidence to suggest innovative and creative solutions to manage risk and keep people safe so they could live their lives as they chose. Staff promoted a culture that anything was possible

Inspection carried out on 23, 24 and 25 June 2015

During a routine inspection

This inspection took place on 23, 24 and 25 June 2015 and was unannounced. The National Star College is a charity which is registered to provide accommodation for up to 88 men and women with a physical disability and/or learning disability or autistic spectrum disorder. The college also offers short breaks during college holidays to people with a physical and/or learning disability. At the time of our inspection there were 72 people living at the college. Across the college campus there are seven residential units which were accessible to people who use wheelchairs. The college was also registered to provide the regulated activity of personal care. At the time of our inspection no one living in their own home was in receipt of personal care from the college.

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 and associated Regulations about how the service is run. The registered manager was registered to oversee four locations owned and managed by the National Star Foundation.

Starting out on their journey into adulthood people living at the National Star College were supported every step of their way with exceptional care, dedication and understanding. People enthusiastically related their initial visits to the college and trial stays with their eventual move into a residence which most suited their individual needs. For people with very complex physical or emotional needs a great deal of planning and preparation was involved. By liaising and coordinating with relatives, other professionals and authorities, staff and the environment were prepared to reflect each individual person’s preferences and routines. When changes were needed these were done as quickly as possible, such as recognising group living wasn’t for everyone leading to a flat being developed for one person to have their own space.

People’s experience of their care and support was overwhelmingly positive. They were involved in the planning and reviewing of their care records and took pride in being able to direct their care. They discussed and shaped the activities they wished to take part in and were listened to about increasing activities at the college over the weekend. They took part in socially inclusive activities in their local communities and well as at the college. People had work experience and work placement opportunities as well as working in college departments. They had taken a play on tour around local schools and planned a college sports day. Representatives took part in meetings with departments at college to voice the opinions and views of people about such issues as health and safety or catering. People benefitted from new and creative methods of communication and staff worked proactively to help people to make choices and decisions about their care and lifestyle.

People were confident about how to stay safe; they had been equipped with the skills to recognise and cope with discrimination and to report suspected abuse. They knew how to make a complaint and had a lot of opportunities to feedback to staff about their experience of living at the college. Outstanding systems were in place to support people to raise concerns, to stay safe and to learn how to manage their anxieties and emotions. People were supported to be as independent as possible, taking responsibility for their medicines, and learning new skills.

Excellent training resources equipped staff with the skills, knowledge and understanding to meet the challenges of supporting people with diverse and complex needs. They said people were “at the centre” of everything they did. Staff were supported to develop individually, to voice concerns which they were confident would be listened to and were recognised nationally for their achievements. Staff were passionate, committed and motivated to make sure people’s journey through college into adulthood was a positive experience.

The visions and values of the National Star Foundation were embedded in every aspect of college life. People were treated as equals and took control of their lives as far as possible. The college and staff had been recognised nationally for their exceptionally good care. They had links with national organisations to make sure they kept up with best practice and new technologies. Staff worked closely and co-operatively through partnership working to make sure people had access to on going support, to remain at college if they wished and to make sure when they moved on the appropriate arrangements had been made for them.

Inspection carried out on 27, 28 November 2013

During a themed inspection looking at Children's Services

We carried out an inspection of the National Star College over two days. During this time we spoke with 11 young adults, either individually or as a group. We also spoke with 14 members of staff, ranging from the care director to the lead for training and quality assurance, the manager of Wilson House, care support workers, nursing and speech and language staff and the lead for IT.

The accommodation was set within nine houses and we visited students who lived at the Lake House, Wilson Court and Ullenwood View. At the time of our inspection there were 75 students who were residential students. We found there was high quality of care provision and students were well looked after.

Students told us they 'loved being at the college, staff were fantastic and they really enjoyed making new friend and the social life". We spoke with staff who told us they were well supported by the management team and felt their training was excellent. Staff said they had many opportunities for personal development. During our inspection we spoke with two agency workers. We found they were not adequately trained in certain aspects of safeguarding. We followed this up with the care director who told us they would follow this up immediately.

We found there was a clear and supportive transition process for students moving between children and adults services. This support was confirmed by students. In relation to the quality and safety assurance systems, there were appropriate systems in place to identify, monitor and review improvements as required.

Inspection carried out on 12 July 2012

During a routine inspection

We talked with eight students overall and observed support being provided to other students. We had a discussion with a group of four students. We talked about how they were involved in developing their care plans with input from their parents before they started at the college. They said they had copies of these plans which were kept safely according to their wishes and respecting their confidentiality.

Students told us they met with their key workers at least every two weeks to discuss their care needs. They said they were listened to and any changes which were needed were made to their care records.

Students said there were sufficient staff to meet their personal needs. They told us the staff/student ratio was very high. They recognised that the needs of students were changing and that some students needed more staffing input. They felt that there were enough staff to provide this support.

Students talked with us about opportunities for social activities both within the college and in Cheltenham.

Students in transition to other college accommodation next year or leaving college said they were well supported by staff. They said systems were in place to handover information to staff and other providers about the support and care they needed.

Students told us they felt safe at the college. They said if they had any problems they could talk to their key worker, senior staff or the Talk to team.

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