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Inspection carried out on 9 May 2019

During a routine inspection

About the service:

Woodrow Cottage is a residential care home providing personal care and support for up to eight adults who have learning disabilities and / or autism. At the time of the inspection eight people were living at the home.

The home is based on three floors which are connected by stairs. On the ground floor there are communal areas and access to a garden. On the second and third floor there are single occupancy bedrooms. There is a separate annex located at the front of the home which has accommodation for one person.

The service has been developed and designed in line with the principles and values that underpin Registering the Right Support and other best practice guidance. This ensures that people who use the service can live as full a life as possible and achieve the best possible outcomes. The principles reflect the need for people with learning disabilities and/or autism to live meaningful lives that include control, choice, and independence. People using the service receive planned and co-ordinated person-centred support that is appropriate and inclusive for them.

People’s experience of using this service:

The provider and staff put each person at the heart of the service. Their approach to each individual had been effective in reducing people’s behaviours that challenged and supporting people to continue to live active lives. A relative told us there was “An ethos of building a service around the individual’s needs, individual personalities and behaviours”. Another person’s relative said that, as a family, “The support we (also) got was way over and above”.

The provider sought out best practice to improve the lives of people using the service. The service had taken innovative steps to meet people’s information and communication needs.

People’s needs were assessed and care and support plans were person-centred and reviewed.

People were supported to maintain their mental and physical health and the service had good relationships with external professionals. The service was responsive to people’s needs and staff listened to what they said. Any concerns or complaints were dealt with appropriately.

Staff were friendly and caring and treated people with respect. Relatives comments included, “Amazing care”; and “There is always a nice atmosphere”. Staff demonstrated a good knowledge of people’s individual needs and preferences regarding their support. People were empowered to be involved in making decisions about their care and support and how the service was run.

There were systems and processes in place to protect people from harm. Staff were trained in how to recognise and respond to abuse and understood their responsibility to report any concerns to the management team. People’s medicines were stored and well managed to ensure their safe and proper use.

Safe recruitment practices were followed and appropriate checks had been undertaken, which made sure only suitable staff were employed to care for people in the home. There were sufficient numbers of experienced staff to meet people’s needs.

Staff were supported to provide appropriate care to people because they were trained, supervised and appraised. There was an induction, training and development programme, which supported staff to gain relevant knowledge and skills.

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 was an open, inclusive culture and ethos within the service, which empowered people and promoted positive outcomes. The registered manager and staff engaged well with people using the service, their relatives, and external stakeholders. There were a range of systems in place to assess and monitor the quality and safety of the service and to ensure people were receiving appropriate support.

The service applied the principles and values of

Inspection carried out on 1 September 2016

During a routine inspection

This inspection took place on 01 September 2016. We gave the service 24 hours’ notice prior to our inspection because the location was a small care home for younger adults with learning disabilities who can be sensitive to changes to their environment and new people . The home provides accommodation for up to eight people. There were seven living people at the home when we visited. The home was based on three floors which were connected by stairs. On the ground floor there were communal areas and access to a garden. On the second and third floor there were single occupancy bedrooms. There was a separate annex located at the front of the home which had accommodation for one person.

There was a registered manager at the home. 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 provider notified CQC about significant events that happened in the care home and had acted in line with regulatory requirements.

People felt safe living at Woodrow Cottage. People appeared relaxed and comfortable in their home environment. Family’s members told us that their relatives were happy living at the home.

Risks relating to individuals were managed safely. Staff were knowledgeable about following care plans that identified risks and actions required to ensure people were safe. The registered manager and provider analysed Incidents to identify causes and triggers, putting measures put in place to reduce risk and likelihood of reoccurrence.

People were supported to maintain their health and wellbeing. Medicines were managed safely. Staff knowledge around Storage and safe administration was robust and effective. People were encouraged to maintain a healthy, balanced diet with access to healthcare services when needed.

There were suitable numbers of staff employed who had the right skills, training and support to work effectively with people. There was a clear management structure in place. Staff felt supported and motivated to improve service provided and were clear about their roles and responsibilities. Staff were knowledgeable about safeguarding and were confident in taking appropriate action to keep people safe if they had concerns.

People received personalised care and support and had access to a range of meaningful activities tailored to their individual interests. Staff demonstrated a good awareness of people’s individual needs and responded effectively when their needs changed. Peoples were involved in their care planning and the service was developing ways to support effective communication for people who did not communicate verbally.

Staff followed legislation designed to protect people’s rights and freedoms. People were cared for with kindness and compassion by staff that were enthusiastic and motivated to improve the lives of the people they worked with.

The service had an open and transparent culture. Families were welcomed and were kept informed about changes to people’s health and wellbeing. The registered manager sought feedback from people, families and professionals in order to make improvements to the service. Staff were confident in raising concerns to the registered manager and were knowledgeable about the provider’s whistleblowing policy if they had further concerns. There was a prominently displayed complaints policy in place which staff and families were confident in using.

Auditing and quality assurances processes carried out by the registered manager and provider resulted in improvements being made to the service. The environment had been adapted to ensure it was suitable for people living with autism and further adaptations were planned.