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Inspection carried out on 7 January 2020

During a routine inspection

About the service

Shared Lives Scheme, also known as Ealing Shared Lives, is a shared lives scheme which provides people with long-term placements, short breaks and respite care, within shared lives carers’ (SLC) own homes. At the time of our inspection 14 people were using the service, seven of whom only required short, occasional respite care.

Not everyone who used the service received personal care. CQC only inspects where people receive personal care. This is help with tasks related to personal hygiene and eating. Where they do we also consider any wider social care provided.

People’s experience of using this service

The provider had arrangements in place to monitor the quality of the service, but these had not always been effective as the records in respect of some people using the service were not always kept up to date. The provider took action when they had identified improvements were required.

Shared lives carers and staff were caring and treated people with respect. Relatives and professionals said they felt people were safe and their care needs were met.

People had support and risk management plans and these were reviewed regularly. Plans reflected people’s physical, mental, emotional and communication needs. Staff were aware of how people wanted to be supported and were responsive to people's individual needs.

People were supported to have healthy diets and their choices were respected. Shared lives carers helped people to access to healthcare services and people were supported to remain healthy.

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

There were robust recruitment processes in place to make sure the provider only engaged suitable carers to support people effectively in their own homes. The provider matched carers with people’s support needs and preferences. Carers completed a range of training to help them support people appropriately. Carers felt supported and well supervised by the provider.

The provider had suitable processes in place for responding to complaints and concerns and used these to develop the service.

For more details, please see the full report which is on the CQC website at www.cqc.org.uk

Rating at last inspection:

The last rating for this service was good (published 14 July 2017).

Why we inspected

This was a planned inspection based on the previous rating.

Please see the action we have told the provider to take at the end of this report.

Follow up

We will continue to monitor information we receive about the service until we return to visit as per our re-inspection programme. If we receive any concerning information we may inspect sooner.

Inspection carried out on 7 June 2017

During a routine inspection

Ealing Shared Lives recruits, trains and monitors carers who are paid a fee to provide care and support to adults with a learning disability. The person lives with the carer in the carer's home. People who use the service are provided with short and long term accommodation with care in family homes. At the time of the inspection there were four people who received personal care.

At the last inspection on 4 August 2014 the service was rated Good. We did not find any breaches of Regulation.

The service remained Good when we inspected it on 7 and 15 June 2017.

The service had procedures in place for safeguarding and these were followed to protect people from abuse.

Recruitment procedures were followed to ensure only carers who were suitable to care and support people were recruited.

Risks were assessed and action plans put in place to minimise any identified risks.

Carers received medicines training so they could assist people with their medicines if required.

Carers received training to provide them with the skills and knowledge to care for people effectively.

People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and carers supported them in the least restrictive way possible. Processes to ensure carers acted in people’s best interests in line with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 were in place and followed.

People were encouraged to eat healthily and had food and drink they enjoyed.

People’s healthcare needs were identified and they received input from healthcare professionals to maintain good health.

People were happy living with their carers, who were caring and respected their right to privacy. They treated them with dignity and respect and encouraged them to be independent and enjoy life.

Support plans were comprehensive and identified people’s needs, wishes and goals so these were known and could be met. Reviews took place to ensure people remained happy with their carers and to provide an opportunity to identify any changes in needs so these could be addressed.

People and carers were encouraged to express any concerns so these could be addressed promptly.

The service was being well led. The registered manager and the shared lives support officer were approachable and supportive to the carers and the people using the service.

Systems were in place for monitoring the service provision and action was taken to address any areas identified for improvement.

The service accessed shared lives groups to keep up to date with good practice and identify any practices they could incorporate to further improve the service they provided.

The service continued to meet the relevant fundamental standards. Further information is in the detailed findings below.

Inspection carried out on 4 August 2014

During a routine inspection

We carried out this inspection under Section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 as part of our regulatory functions. This inspection was planned to check whether the provider is meeting the legal requirements and regulations associated with the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and to pilot a new inspection process being introduced by the Care Quality Commission which looks at the overall quality of the service.

This was an announced inspection. We told the provider two days before our visit that we would be inspecting their service.

The service met all of the regulations we inspected against at our last inspection on 14 January 2014.

Ealing Shared Lives is a shared lives placement service, which recruits and supports paid carers to provide family based placements for adults with learning disabilities within the carer’s home.

Placements can be long-term with the adult living with the carer as part of their family, or as respite care which can range from a few hours a week, overnight or longer stays.

The service had a registered manager in place. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the CQC to manage the service and has the legal responsibility for meeting the requirements of the law; as does the provider.

At the time of our inspection seven people were in long term placements and five people received respite sessions which varied from spending one afternoon a week with a carer being supported with social activities, to regular overnight stays.

People using the service told us they felt safe and the carers treated them well. We saw that support plans and risk assessments were regularly reviewed by staff and the person using the service.

We saw carers had been trained in the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and they had a good understanding of the principles of the Act.

We saw the service had clear and detailed recruitment procedures which included a two day information event and an assessment of an applicant by a panel including people using the service and social workers.

Carers completed a range of training defined as mandatory by the provider in addition to any course identified to support the specific needs of the person using the service.

The carers we spoke with felt they had the appropriate training and support to carry out their role. People using the service told us they were happy with the carers they lived with. They reported their carers respected their privacy and treated them with respect.

We saw the support plans were comprehensive and included information on how to meet people’s religious and cultural needs, the activities they took part in weekly and on how to resolve any behaviour that could be challenging.

The manager attended regular shared lives network meetings and conferences to identify examples of good practice to ensure the service was providing a good quality of support.

Inspection carried out on 14 January 2014

During a routine inspection

At the time of our inspection, the service had five carers offering long term placements to six persons who used the service. We met with three care workers, spoke to another on the telephone and met with two people who used the service. We met with the Scheme Manager, the recently appointed Shared Lives Co-ordinator, the previous acting Co-ordinator and a Shared Lives Officer.

We spoke to one commissioning care manager. We looked at the files of four care workers and four people who used the service.

We found the provider made suitable arrangements to enable those using the service to make choices. A care giver told us �I have helped my person to slowly and gradually get more independent with making choices.�

We found that people's care needs were met. We noted that there were procedures in place to deal with emergencies. We saw that each person using the service had a care plan specific to their needs. A care worker told us "it is all about being familiar with the person you are supporting to notice this and respond to their individual needs.�

We found that people who used the service were protected from the risks of abuse as robust safeguarding procedures were in place.

We saw that there were effective recruitment procedures in place.

There were suitable arrangements in place to ensure staff were appropriately supported. A care worker told us that �my annual review is very thorough and there is always good feedback given.�

Inspection carried out on 19 September 2012

During a routine inspection

We spoke to two people who use the service. They told us that they got good support from their carer and that they could lead the lives they wanted to.

People told us about the different activities they got involved in during the week such as going shopping, seeing relatives and eating out.

People spoke about how they liked that they can choose what they did each day and who they want to spend time with. The carers told us that they were well supported by the service within their role and training to enable them to support people.