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Mencap - Dorset Support Service Good


Inspection carried out on 16 January 2020

During a routine inspection

About the service

Mencap Dorset Support Service is a supported living service. The agency specialises in providing personal care and support for people with a learning disability or mental health condition living in the community. The service was currently supporting eight people receiving a regulated activity of personal care.

Not everyone who used the service received personal care. CQC only inspects where people receive personal care. This is help with tasks related to personal hygiene and eating. Where they do we also consider any wider social care provided. At the time of the inspection the agency was providing support with personal care to eight people.

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 and what we found

People told us they felt safe, happy and well cared for by Mencap Dorset Support Service. Relatives spoke positively about the care their family members received and the difference it had made to their lives. Staff knew what signs and symptoms could indicate people are experiencing harm or abuse. Staff felt confident management would listen and act if they raised concerns.

The service had robust recruitment processes to ensure people were supported by staff with the necessary skills, experience and character. There were enough staff to keep people safe and meet their individual needs. Staff had a good understanding of people’s individual risks and how they could work with them to minimise the risks.

People were supported by staff who had received mandatory and specialist training to help them meet their diverse and changing needs. Staff said the training was good. Staff competency was monitored on an ongoing basis through formal observations, supervision and performance appraisals.

People’s support needs, abilities and desired outcomes were identified, assessed and monitored in personalised care plans. People’s needs were reviewed with their involvement. When required, staff ensured people had timely access to healthcare services in order to maintain their health and wellbeing. This included GPs, physiotherapists, diabetic nurses and dentists. Relatives told us they were listened to and involved.

The service consistently applied the principles and values of Registering the Right Support and other best practice guidance. These ensure that people who use the service can live as full a life as possible and achieve the best possible outcomes that include control, choice and independence. One person told us, “You can choose what you wear, who you go out with, you’re not restricted here.”

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. Staff demonstrated a good understanding of the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA 2005) and how it applied to the people there. This provides protection for people who do not have capacity to make decisions for themselves. Staff consistently sought people’s consent before offering to support them with their daily lives.

Staff treated people with respect and kindness. Interactions were warm, natural and punctuated with appropriate humour. Staff had been given time to get to know people well including how they wished to spend their time, who they wanted to spend time with and their preferred means of communication. People’s rig

Inspection carried out on 8 December 2016

During a routine inspection

This inspection was announced and took place on 8 December 2016. The provider was given 48 hours’ notice of inspection to ensure the registered manager would be available to meet us at the provider’s office and also to make arrangements for us to visit some of the people in their own homes.

The was a registered manager, however the registered manager was unavailable on the day of this inspection. The inspection was supported by a service manager. 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.

Mencap Dorset Support Service provided a supported living service. A supported living service is where people have a tenancy agreement with a landlord and receive their care and support from a care provider. As the housing and care arrangements were entirely separate people can choose to change their care provider if they wished without losing their home. At the time of the inspection they were offering personal care to five people in their own homes, and eight people living in a shared home.

Mencap Dorset Support Service had completed the process of supporting people to transition from residential living to independent living. The service manager confirmed people and staff had adapted well with the transition from living and working in a residential care home to supported living. The service manager was able to provide a number of examples where service users have been supported to develop their independence and life skills. People confirmed they had been consulted about where they wished to live. One relative told us, “I can’t believe how well the move has gone and how my relative has settled in. It was very important they stayed in the local area. The staff team have been so flexible, being there giving that extra support when needed”

People’s relatives told us the management and staff were very caring. We observed staff interacted with people in a friendly and considerate manner and respected their choices. Staff were very patient and took time to try to understand people’s wishes and preferences even though some people needed additional support to be able to express themselves verbally.

People had positive relationships with the staff members who supported them. Staff knew people’s individual histories, likes and dislikes and things that were important to them. People’s privacy and dignity was respected and information personal to them was treated in confidence.

The provider had a recruitment procedure that ensured the suitability of staff was checked before they began work. Staff knew how to recognise signs of abuse and all said they were confident that any issues raised would be appropriately addressed by the registered manager. People felt safe with the staff who supported them.

People had support plans which were personalised to them. Staff were knowledgeable of the needs and preferences of people they cared for. All staff spoken with were able to describe how they supported the people they visited. People said staff understood their needs and looked after them in the way they wanted to be looked after. Information contained in the care plans detailed what support people wanted from staff. Daily visit records showed staff had carried out the care and support in line with people’s care plans. Staff told us they felt the information available regarding people’s needs was good.

People received help with their medicines from staff who were trained to safely support them and

who made sure they had their medicine when they needed it. The provider undertook regular competency checks on staff to ensure they followed safe practice when supporting people.

There were systems in place to monitor the quality of the service and plan on-going improvem