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Inspection carried out on 26 October 2018

During a routine inspection

We visited Swallow Lodge on the 26 and 30 October 2018, the inspection was announced. We gave the provider 24 hours’ notice of our visit, as we wanted to be sure the registered manager, staff and people who lived at the service were available to talk with us. The service is registered to provide accommodation for a maximum of eight people with a learning disability. People stay at the service to receive respite care, and over a period of a year, up to 60 people use the service. On the 26 October there were eight people using the service and on the 30 October there were four people using the service. Swallow Lodge also supports five people with personal care who live in a separate supported living unit. During our inspection we looked at both these services.

There was a registered manager in post who was available throughout the 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.

The people using the service were protected from harm as the provider had robust processes in place to ensure their safety. Staff supporting people were aware of their responsibilities in relation to protecting them from abuse. They had received appropriate training to support their understanding of any safeguarding issues. The registered manager reported any issues of concern to both the CQC and the local safeguarding teams and worked in an open and transparent manner. There were clear processes in place to ensure lessons were learnt following any incidents or events.

The risks to people’s safety were clearly identified with measures in place to reduce these risks. The environment and essential equipment were well maintained and met the needs of the people who used the service.

People were supported by well-trained and competent staff in sufficient numbers to keep them safe. Their medicines were managed safely and people were protected from the risk of infection through good hygiene practices, and staff knowledge of reducing the risks of cross infection.

People’s rights were protected under the Equality Act. They were supported to maintain a healthy diet, with staff showing good knowledge of their nutritional needs. Staff were supported with appropriate training for their roles.

People received support with their health needs through well-developed links with local health professionals.

Staff sought consent from people before caring for them and they understood and followed the principles of the Mental Capacity Act, 2005 (MCA). The person was 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 treated with kindness and care by staff who supported them with respect and dignity. Staff developed positive relationships with people in their care.

People could maintain relationships with people who were important to them, and relatives felt their views and opinions about their family member’s care were listened to.

The care people received was person centred and met their individual needs. People were supported to take part in a range of social activities both at the service and in the local community. There was a complaints procedure in place and people and their families knew who to complain to should they have any issues.

The service was well led, the registered manager was visible and supportive towards the people in their care, their relatives and the staff who worked at the service. The quality assurance systems in place were used effectively to monitor aspects of care. The registered manager and provider responded positively to changes and used information to improve the service and care people rec

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.