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Inspection carried out on 8 February 2016

During a routine inspection

The inspection, which was unannounced, was carried out on 08 February 2016 by one Inspector. Your Life (Hitchin) operates an assisted living scheme in a modern and purpose built private development called Park House. The property consists of 58 flats privately owned and occupied by older people who also share some communal areas and facilities; such as dining rooms, lounges and gardens. At the time of our inspection two people who lived at Park House received personal care and support, although only one was available to talk with us as the other was in hospital, whereas the other residents did not.

There was a manager in post who had registered with the CQC. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the CQC 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 and associated Regulations about how the service is run.

People told us they felt safe and well supported by the staff who provided care at Park House. Staff had received training in how to safeguard people from abuse and knew how to report concerns. Safe and effective recruitment practices were followed to ensure that staff were suitable for the role performed. There were always sufficient numbers of staff available to meet people’s agreed care and support needs.

Staff were trained to help and support people take medicines safely if the need arose. Potential risks to people’s health were identified and reviewed to keep them safe. People were very positive about the skills, experience and abilities of staff who provided them with care and support. Staff received training relevant to their roles and had regular supervision meetings to discuss and review their development and performance.

Where appropriate, staff helped and supported people to stay safe, both in their homes and in the community. People were supported to maintain good health in a way that took account of their needs and personal circumstances. Staff developed positive and caring relationships with the people they supported and clearly knew them very well.

Staff provided care and support in a way that accorded with people’s wishes, agreement and consent. People were involved in the planning, delivery and reviews of the care and support they received. The confidentiality of information held about people’s medical and personal histories was securely maintained.

People told us that support was provided in a way that promoted their dignity and respected their privacy at all times. People received care and support that met their needs and took account of their preferences. Staff were very knowledgeable about people’s preferences and routines which helped them provide care and support in a person centred way.

People had the opportunity to take part in a wide range of activities provided at Park House if they chose to do so. They felt that staff listened to them and responded to any concerns they had in a positive and timely way. People knew how to complain should the need arise but told us they had rarely had cause to do so.

People who used the service and staff were very complimentary about the registered manager and how the service was operated. Effective arrangements were in place to monitor risks and the quality of services provided.