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Inspection carried out on 28 September 2018

During a routine inspection

Albany House is a residential care home for 10 people with enduring mental health needs. The accommodation is across three floors of a large house. When we inspected there were five people living at the home.

At our last inspection we rated the service Good. At this inspection we found the evidence continued to support the 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.

At this inspection we found the service remained Good.

People and staff felt the home was safe. Staff were aware of safeguarding and the provider’s whistle blowing procedure. They told us they had no concerns about people’s safety but would report concerns if required.

There were enough staff on duty to meet people’s needs in a timely way. There was a visible staff presence during our visit to the home. New staff were recruited safely.

Medicines were managed well with accurate records available to show which medicines staff had given to people. Staff had been trained to administer medicines and assessed as competent to do so.

Regular health and safety checks of the premises and equipment were carried out. The provider had up-to-date procedures to help ensure people remained safe in an emergency.

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 were supported to meet their nutritional needs. People chose what they wanted to eat and drink each day. Staff encouraged people to have a diet which balanced both their preferences and their medical conditions.

Staff supported people with their health care needs. For example, supporting people to attend medical appointments.

People’s needs had been assessed both before and after admission to the home. Care plans reflected people’s needs and preferences. Care plans were evaluated regularly so they contained information about people’s current needs. People chose how they spent their time and could take part in activities if they wanted to.

People said they had not had cause to complain about their care. There was a complaints procedure should anyone wish to complain. There had been no complaints received since we last inspected.

The provider carried out quality assurance checks to ensure people received a good standard of care. People and staff had provided feedback when they were consulted about the home.

Further information is in the detailed findings below.

Inspection carried out on 24 February 2016

During a routine inspection

Albany House is a large three storey property situated in Whitley Bay town centre. The service provides accommodation and personal care for up to ten people. At the time of our inspection there were six people using the service who had a variety of differing mental health needs.

This inspection took place on 24 February 2016 and was unannounced. We last inspected this service in November 2013, at which time we found the provider was compliant with all the regulations that we inspected.

The service had a registered manager in post. 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 told us they felt safe and secure living at the home with support from the staff. Safeguarding procedures were in place to help staff protect people from harm and improper treatment. People and staff told us there were enough staff employed at the service to meet their needs consistently and records confirmed this.

Personal emergency evacuation plans were in place for each person and regular practice evacuations were carried out to ensure these were kept up to date. The premises were in a good state of repair and people told us repairs were carried out quickly. Some areas of the home were closed off for essential maintenance work to be carried out.

Medicines were managed without concern and records were kept. We found that procedures and practices could be more robust and the registered manager assured us that this would be addressed.

Policies and procedures were in place to assist staff with the smooth running of the service. Accidents and incidents were recorded and monitored. Where appropriate, risks associated with people’s care needs had been assessed and were reviewed regularly. Where necessary information was passed onto other health and social care professionals to ensure people’s general health and well-being was maintained.

People told us they had access to a variety of good food. Staff told us they encouraged people to maintain a healthy balanced diet. We found that staff received an induction, on-going training, regular supervision and annual appraisal from the management team.

Staff treated people with dignity and respect. The people we spoke with confirmed this. Staff showed caring attitudes and treated people as individuals. People’s care needs were recorded and reviewed by staff with input from people, their supporters and other healthcare professionals.

Staff offered people a choice in all aspects of their life and people were involved in a range of activities. Staff supported people to maintain links with the community. People told us they had nothing to complain about but knew how to complain and would feel confident to do so if necessary.

The registered manager held records which showed they monitored the quality and safety of the service. Audits took place to ensure staff were competent in their role. Annual surveys were used to gather opinions from people and staff about the service.

Staff told us their morale was good and they felt valued. They felt supported by the management team who they said were approachable and understanding.

Inspection carried out on 12 November 2013

During an inspection to make sure that the improvements required had been made

We last visited this service on 18 July 2013, when we found that insufficient checks were being carried out before staff started work. We carried out this inspection to check that action had been taken to improve.

We spoke with three people using the service, two staff and the owner/manager.

People using the service were complimentary about the care they had received at Albany House and about the staff themselves. They told us, “Staff are caring” and “The staff are nice.”

We found that appropriate checks were undertaken before staff began work. This helped ensure that staff were appropriately qualified, skilled and experienced to meet people’s needs.

Inspection carried out on 18 July 2013

During a routine inspection

We spoke with five people to find out their opinions of the service. Their comments included, “This is my home. There’s no other place is like this” and “Everyone gets on well. I like living here.” The registered manager was not on duty on the day of our visit.

Following our discussions with people who were using the service and staff as well as examination of records, we found the provider ensured people gave valid consent, before providing their care and treatment. We found that people’s care and treatment was planned and delivered in line with their individual care plan.

People liked their accommodation. We found that appropriate measures were taken to maintain and keep the premises safe and secure for people to live in.

We found that the provider had not always carried out all the checks they should before staff began work. This meant effective recruitment and selection processes were not in place.

People told us they had no complaints. We concluded, from what they said, that they were confident the provider would listen to, and act on any concerns they had.

Inspection carried out on 9 May 2012

During a routine inspection

We visited the home unannounced on 9 May 2012 to carry out a routine inspection. Ten people were living at the home at the time of our inspection. We met eight of them, as well as the manager and a care worker. We talked in private with three of the people who live here. They all made positive comments about living here. For instance, one person said, “It will break my heart to leave here”. Another said, “We’re like a family here”. We were told that the staff were “wonderful” and the owner/manager was “smashing” and always approachable.