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Inspection carried out on 31 January 2019

During a routine inspection

About the service: Long Meadow is care home registered to accommodate up to 40 older people, some of whom are living with dementia and/or physical disabilities. On the day of our inspection there were 36 people using the service.

People’s experience of using this service:

People were safe. A person said, “The staff come and check us at night. We are alright but its good they check us. They look after us.” There were enough staff on duty to ensure people’s needs were promptly met. People had their medicines on time. The home was clean and fresh throughout.

The staff were well-trained and knowledgeable. A relative said, “The staff are skilled and know what they’re doing.” People and relatives made many positive comments about the food provided. A person said, “The food is superb.” Staff worked closely with local GPs and community matrons to ensure people’s healthcare needs were met.

The staff team were caring and kind. A relative said, “The staff treat [family member] as an individual and are nice to them. They give [family member] hugs and hold their hand to make them feel special.” A staff member told us, “The best thing about it [Long Meadow] is that it’s a home not an institution. We are a family here and we get on well with residents and relatives.”

Staff met people’s needs in the way they wanted. A person said, “The staff do anything you ask for you. They look after me and they look after everybody else.” The home organised a wide range of activities for people. A person said, “A lot happens here.” We saw people listening to music while enjoying a knitting session, and later a visiting entertainer led a singing and movement session. People joined in and the atmosphere was happy and lively.

People, relatives and staff told us the registered manager was approachable and helpful. A staff member said, “[Registered manager] is fantastic – you can go to her about anything and she talks to people and relatives every day.” Staff worked closely with other health and social care professionals. A visiting healthcare professional told, “The home has got a lovely outlook, the staff are very caring, and the registered manager has her finger on the pulse.” The provider and registered manager audited all aspects of the home and made improvements where necessary.

For further information please see the full report.

Rating at last inspection: At our last inspection (report published on 31/05/2016) the service was rated as Good.

Why we inspected: This was a scheduled inspection based on the service’s previous rating.

Follow up: We will continue to monitor this service.

Inspection carried out on 31 May 2016

During a routine inspection

We inspected Long Meadow on 31 May 2016. This was an unannounced inspection. The service was registered to accommodate up to 40 older people, with age related conditions, including frailty, mobility issues and dementia. On the day of our inspection there were 37 people living in the care home.

At our last inspection on 2 October 2013, we found that where people were unable to make informed choices about important life decisions, their best interests were not always being fully considered. Following that inspection we asked the provider to send us an action plan detailing when they were going to meet this standard. At this inspection we found the necessary improvements had been made and no further concerns were identified.

A registered manager was in post, although not present on the day of 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.

People were happy, comfortable and relaxed with staff and said they felt safe. They received care and support from staff who were appropriately trained, competent and confident to meet their individual needs. People were able to access health, social and medical care, as required.

People’s needs were assessed and their care plans provided staff with clear guidance about how they wanted their individual needs met. Care plans were person centred and contained appropriate risk assessments. They were regularly reviewed and amended as necessary to ensure they reflected people’s changing support needs.

There were opportunities for additional staff training specific to the needs of the service, such as diabetes management and the care of people with dementia. Staff received one-to-one supervision meetings with their line manager. Formal personal development plans, such as annual appraisals, were in place.

Up to date policies and procedures were in place to assist staff on how keep people safe and there were sufficient staff on duty to meet people’s needs. Staff told us they had completed training in safe working practices. We saw people were supported with patience, consideration and kindness and their privacy and dignity was respected.

Thorough recruitment procedures were followed and appropriate pre-employment checks had been made including evidence of identity and satisfactory written references. Appropriate checks were also undertaken to ensure new staff were safe to work within the care sector.

Medicines were managed safely in accordance with current regulations and guidance by staff who had received appropriate training to help ensure safe practice. There were systems in place to ensure that medicines had been stored, administered, audited and reviewed appropriately.

People were being supported to make decisions in their best interests. The registered manager and staff had received training in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS).

People’s nutritional needs were assessed and records were accurately maintained to ensure people were protected from risks associated with eating and drinking. Where risks to people had been identified, these had been appropriately monitored and referrals made to relevant professionals, where necessary.

Quality assurance audits and a formal complaints process were in place. People were encouraged and supported to express their views about their care and staff were responsive to their comments. Satisfaction questionnaires were used to obtain the views of people who lived in the home, their relatives and other stakeholders.