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Inspection carried out on 8 April 2019

During a routine inspection

About the service: Ability Ash Lodge provides personal care to people in their own homes and also has accommodation registered where personal care can be provided to people on a respite basis. There is one property providing supported living services. At the time of the inspection, there were four people using the respite services and 6 people being supported in their own homes receiving the regulated activity of personal care.

People’s experience of using this service:

The service met the characteristics of good in all areas.

The outcomes for people using the service reflected the principles and values of Registering the Right Support in the following ways. People were supported by staff to exercise choice in how they lived their lives. Staff supported people to engage in full lives both at home and out in the community.

People continued to receive safe care. Staff understood their responsibility around safeguarding people and they knew how to recognise abuse. Risks to people were assessed and managed well by staff. There were enough staff who were appropriately trained and recruited to support people. People received their medicines as prescribed and there were good infection prevention and control practices in place to protect people.

The care given continued to be effective. 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 in the service supported this practice. People had access to healthcare services and received coordinated support, to ensure their preferences and needs were met. People were supported to maintain a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

Staff were kind and caring when interacting with people. We received many positive comments from relatives and health and social care staff. Staff respected every person’s privacy and dignity. Staff supported people to be involved in their care.

The staff and provider continued to be responsive. People had personalised support plans that staff regularly reviewed. People’s support plans included information about their wishes and goals and incorporated information about empowering people to be independent. Staff identified people’s information and communication needs by assessing them. Complaints were appropriately followed-up by the provider.

All staff shared the positive culture and vision to support people’s health and wellbeing. The registered managers were transparent, open and collaborative with external agencies. There was a passionate culture for change and improvement seen in all staff.

More information is in the full report below.

Rating at last inspection: Rated as good, report published 18 August 2016.

Why we inspected: This was a scheduled inspection based on the rating at the last inspection.

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

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

Inspection carried out on 29 March 2016

During a routine inspection

This inspection was carried out between the 31 March and 25 April 2016. The inspection was announced, and we gave the provider 48 hours’ notice to ensure there was a manager available to assist with the inspection process.

The service provides personal care for children and young adults with learning difficulties and complex needs in supported living and also provides respite care for up to five young people at their premises in Chesterfield.

There was a registered manager at the service. 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.

People felt safe and secure using the service. There were systems and procedures in place which were followed to ensure appropriate pre-employment checks were made on staff prior to them working with the people who used the service. Staff understood how to protect people from potential harm and how to report any concerns.

New staff completed a period of shadowing and induction training prior to them supporting people with their care needs. The provider ensured staff received training relevant to their roles and responsibilities.

Staff treated children and young people they cared for with dignity and respect. Relatives felt the staff understood their relative’s individual needs. The management team ensured people or their relatives were involved in their care planning and decision making. Staff understood the key principles of the Mental Capacity Act (2005).

Care plans contained information to assist staff in providing personalised care. This included pictorial guidance on how to manage risk. Families and people were given information in appropriate forms on what to do if they had any concerns or complaints. Staff felt confident if they had any concerns or complaints the registered manager and management team would take them seriously and endeavour to resolve them.

Individual care plans were reviewed to ensure the care was up to date and met the needs of children and young people. Staff understood the needs of the children and young people they cared for. They reported any changes to people’s physical and mental health conditions to ensure continuity of care.

The provider had processes in place to monitor the quality of the service people received. There were clear arrangements for the day to day running of the service. The service was managed by a team who understood their roles and responsibilities in providing a good service to people.

Inspection carried out on 24 February 2014

During a routine inspection

We spoke with three people who used the service. They were all satisfied with the care they received from staff.

A person told us that staff were good at their jobs. She said; ‘’staff help us. I could not ask for better’’.

We spoke with the relatives of five people. They all told us that care was very good.

One relative said; ‘’staff are amazing. They could not be better’’.

This was a positive inspection. People we spoke with thought care staff were caring and friendly. This was also the view of their relatives. The essential standards we inspected were met. We have asked management to ensure that all expressions of concern recorded and there is evidence they have been acted on.

There were a small number of suggestions made; that communication is better so that staff were always aware of people's changing needs and their preferences. Also, that the frequency of staff meetings is increased to assist staff to deliver care of the highest quality.

Inspection carried out on 13 November 2012

During a routine inspection

Ability Ash Lodge provides personal care to people in their own homes and also has accommodation registered where personal care can be provided to people on a respite basis.

As part of this inspection we spoke with two people who used the service, two relatives and one healthcare professional to gain their views of the service. People told us the service they received was a reliable one. We were told that there were dedicated teams who worked together to provide care for people.

People were consulted and involved in their care plans. One relative considered the staff to be “Compassionate and caring with lots of involvement of the person” receiving care.

There were suitable arrangements in place for the handling and administering of medicines. Staff were suitably trained and had access to information about medicines. Where people had the capacity to be involved in taking their own medicines this was respected.

We found that there were not robust recruitment procedures in place to ensure staff were suitable to work with vulnerable people/adults.

We found there were systems in place to ask peoples views about the service. People and relatives we spoke with regarded the manager and staff to be professional and approachable. One relative told us the "The world is not a perfect place but it is how you deal with problems when they arise that is important and the agency are open and respond quickly when they need to".

Inspection carried out on 3 August 2011

During a routine inspection

We spoke with one person using the service and observed interactions and service provision with two people. We spoke with two relatives, two visiting professionals and four members of staff.

People using the service who were able to communicate verbally told us that they liked using the service and that staff were 'nice'. We observed that those people who had difficulty communicating verbally enjoyed friendly relationships with staff.

Relatives told us that staff were 'polite', that they were 'very good' and one said they were 'delighted' with the service provided.

Staff told us that they felt well supported and that the training programmes were 'very good' and 'brilliant'.

A visiting professional told us that they were 'very impressed' with the service provided and another told us the service did a 'brilliant job'.