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Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 27 February 2018

The inspection took place on 10 January 2018. The inspection was announced.

36a Birling Avenue is a residential care home providing respite care for up to seven people with a learning disability or autistic spectrum disorder. A respite care service provides care and support for people who do not require a permanent stay in a care home. For example, people stayed at 36a Birling Avenue where they could receive the care and support they required when their families or carers (carers) planned time to go on holiday or a weekend away. Many people saw their stay in respite care as their holiday too. Bedrooms were available on the ground and the first floor. People who were able to use the stairs independently could use the upstairs bedrooms. One double bedroom was available if two people chose to share, such as siblings or friends, but was also used for emergency accommodation at times. The service was in a residential location with easy access to shops and public transport so that people who were able to go out into the community independently could continue to do so while staying at the service. Due to the nature of the support needs of people, two members of staff slept at the premises each night and a bedroom was set aside for this purpose. Three people were staying for respite care at the time of our inspection.

At the last inspection on 18 November 2015 the service was rated Good. However, we did find one breach of Regulation 17 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. The provider did not have systems and processes in place to ensure they could identify, assess and monitor quality and safety within the service.

At this inspection we found the service remained Good and improvements had been made to the quality auditing systems.

A registered manager was employed at the service and had been in the position since before the last inspection. 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.

Staff continued to be aware of their responsibilities in keeping people safe and reporting any suspicions of abuse. Staff knew what the reporting procedures were and were confident their concerns would be listened to.

Individual risks were identified and steps continued to be taken to reduce and control risk, making sure people and staff had the guidance they needed to prevent harm while at the same time supporting independence. Accidents and incidents were recorded by staff, action was taken and followed up by the registered manager.

The processes for the administration of people’s prescribed medicines was still managed and recorded well so people received their medicines as intended. Regular audits of medicines were now undertaken to ensure safe procedures were followed and action was taken when errors were made.

The registered manager continued to undertake a comprehensive initial assessment with people when they applied for a respite care service which fully included the involvement of the person and their carer’s. Care plans were developed and regularly updated and reviewed to take into account people’s changing needs between visits to the service. People’s specific needs were taken account of and addressed in care planning and in planning people’s respite care visits to ensure equality of access to services.

People were supported to make their own choices and decisions. The registered manager and staff continued to have a good understanding of the basic principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and promoted people’s rights.

People were given plenty of choice at mealtimes and staff were flexible, often planning meals around the food they knew people liked. Staff were aware of people’s specific dietar

Inspection areas



Updated 27 February 2018

The service remains Good.



Updated 27 February 2018

The service remains Effective.



Updated 27 February 2018

The service remains Caring.



Updated 27 February 2018

The service remains Responsive.



Updated 27 February 2018

The service was Well Led.

Quality auditing systems were now in place to make sure the service provided was safe and a good standard.

Positive comments were made about the management team and their approachability.

Staff were supported well and had the opportunity to raise their ideas and concerns.

The views of people, their families and carers were listened to and acted on to further improve the service provided.