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Inspection carried out on 7 December 2015

During a routine inspection

The inspection took place on 7 December 2015 and was unannounced.

Swallow Lodge is registered to provide accommodation and personal care for up to seven people who have a learning disability and some people also have a physical disability. There were five people present at the service on the day of our inspection; receiving either respite care or as an emergency placement until appropriate care services could be found.

There was not a registered manager in post at the time of our inspection. However, the acting manager had been in post five weeks and had commenced the application process to become the registered manager. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to manage the service. Like registered providers, they are ‘registered persons’. Registered persons have the legal responsibility for meeting the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated Regulations about how the service is run.

The Care Quality Commission is required by law to monitor how a provider applies the Mental Capacity Act, 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and to report on what we find. DoLS are in place to protect people where they do not have capacity to make decisions and where it is considered necessary to restrict their freedom in some way. This is usually to protect them. The management and staff understood their responsibility and made appropriate referrals for assessment, no one living at the service at the time of our inspection had their freedom lawfully restricted under a DoLS authorisation.

People were kept safe because staff undertook appropriate risk assessments for all aspects of their care and care plans were developed to support people’s individual needs. The acting manager ensured that there were sufficient numbers of staff to support people safely and this varied depending on the care needs of people, and the activities and outings that people were involved in.

There were safe recruitment processes in place and people were cared for by staff that had knowledge and skills to perform their roles and responsibilities and meet the unique needs of the people in their care.

People had their healthcare needs identified and were enabled to access healthcare professionals such as their psychologist and speech and language therapist.

People where able were supported to make decisions about their care and treatment and staff supported people to enhance their skills and improve their independence. People were treated with dignity and respect by kind, caring and compassionate staff.

People were treated as individual, and were supported to follow their hobbies and pastimes. People were involved in planning the menus and staff supported them to have a nutritious and balanced diet.

The registered provider did not have effective systems in place to monitor the quality of the service, such as regular audits.