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Cambian Dilston College Good

We are carrying out a review of quality at Cambian Dilston College. We will publish a report when our review is complete. Find out more about our inspection reports.


Inspection carried out on 5 November 2018

During a routine inspection

Cambian Dilston college is a specialist residential college, providing educational services,

accommodation and personal care for young people aged 16 to 25 with learning disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorder. The Care Quality Commission regulates both the premises and the care provided, and both were looked at during this inspection.

The service provides an opportunity for up to 40 young people to learn practical and independent living skills during their stay, with a view to moving into their own supported living accommodation in the community when they leave. Some people attend the college as day students and others stayed for 38 to 52 weeks. There were 18 young people staying at the college during this inspection.

The accommodation is made up of a number of flats above the college and cottages in the grounds. As an older building, the college does not conform to the model of care guidance of 2016 which proposed smaller, community-based housing for people with learning disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorder. However, the care service has been developed and designed in line with other 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.

This inspection was carried out on 5 and 8 November 2018.

At our last inspection we rated the service good. At this inspection we found the evidence continued to support an overall rating of good and there was no evidence or information from our inspection and ongoing monitoring that demonstrated serious risks or concerns. This inspection report is written in a shorter format because our overall rating of the service has not changed since our last inspection.

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.

Due to their complex needs not everyone was able to share their views about the service they received. People looked relaxed and comfortable. Staff provided support with patience and kindness. Staff upheld people's human rights and treated them with dignity.

People and relatives felt the service was safe. Staff received training about safeguarding and knew how to respond to any allegation of abuse. Medicines were managed safely. The accommodation was clean and well maintained.

There were enough staff to provide individual care to people. Regular agency staff were being used to cover vacant posts until permanent staff could be appointed. The provider used vetting checks to make sure any new staff were suitable to work with people who needed care and support.

People’s abilities and needs were fully assessed before they were offered a placement at the college. Staff received essential training to support them safely during their placement.

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

Relatives felt they could raise issues and comments and that these were listened to. However, they felt that any actions were not always sustained as they were not embedded into staff practice. This mainly related to support for people to keep in contact and communication between the college and parents. We discussed this with the registered manager as an area for improvement.

People received very individualised support at the college that promoted their independence. They were supported to access a wide variety of learning and work experience opportunities in the local community during college times.

Inspection carried out on 12 May 2016

During a routine inspection

Cambian Dilston College is a further education residential college based in Dilston, Corbridge, Northumberland, which provides educational services and personal care and support, for up to 52 students, all of whom are young adults with learning and/or physical disabilities. Students attend the college on either a residential or daily basis. Accommodation for residential students is provided in a number of different sized self-contained units on the college site. This is the first inspection of this service since the provider took over the leadership of the establishment in June 2014. There were 33 residential students, in receipt of personal care and support at the college, at the time of our inspection.

This inspection took place on the 12 and 16 May 2016 and was unannounced. The inspection team consisted of one inspector and an expert by experience. An expert by experience is a person who has experience of using this type of service, or of supporting a person who has used this type of service.

A registered manager was in post at the time of our inspection who had been registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to manage the carrying on of the regulated activity since June 2014. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the CQC 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.

Students told us they liked the staff who supported them and felt safe in their presence. Policies and procedures were in place for staff to follow to ensure that they safeguarded students from harm or abuse and we saw that these were followed in practice. Staff had been trained in safeguarding and were aware of their personal responsibility to safeguard students.

Risks that students faced in their daily lives had been appropriately assessed and were regularly reviewed. Environmental risks around the college site were also assessed and mitigated against. Emergency planning had been carried out and accident and incidents were appropriately managed and analysed to see if preventative measures were needed.

Staffing levels were determined by the number of students at the college at any one time and the nature of their care needs. Staff told us that staffing levels were well managed and they felt very supported in their roles. They said they received regular training and were inducted, supervised and appraised in line with the provider's policies. Staff recruitment procedures were robust and staff disciplinary measures were in place and applied appropriately. Medicines were well managed and audits carried out regularly to ensure that staff remained competent to administer medicines safely.

CQC monitors the application of the Mental Capacity Act (2005) and deprivation of liberty safeguards. The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) was appropriately applied and applications to deprive students of their liberty lawfully, were currently being submitted to the local authority in line with the service's arrangements with them. The provider understood their legal responsibility under this act. They assessed student's capacity when their care commenced and on an on-going basis when necessary. Decisions that needed to be made in student's best interests had been undertaken and records about such decision making were maintained.

Students were supported to eat and drink healthily and in line with any special needs they had. They were involved in menu planning and had lots of choice about the foods they consumed. The ethos of the service was to support students to be as independent as possible and achieve the best possible outcome in line with their own abilities. Staff encouraged students to be independent, they respected their dignity and spoke with them in a professional but respectful manner. Staff and students enjoyed good relations.

Care was