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Reports


Inspection carried out on 7 June 2018

During a routine inspection

Stratford Lodge is a care home which provides accommodation and personal care for up to nine people with autism. Eight of the nine people who live at the service have attended the nearby Grateley House School. One person joined the home from another Cambian provision. People continued to receive specialist therapy services from the school and some also attended local colleges. The service is part of the school's post 16 'sixth form' provision and supports people who are preparing to leave the school to move to more independent settings. At the time of our inspection nine people were living at Stratford Lodge, all of whom were aged between 16 and 19.

At our last inspection we rated the service good. At this inspection we found the evidence continued to support the rating of good and there was no evidence or information from our inspection and ongoing monitoring that demonstrated serious risks or concerns. This inspection report is written in a shorter format because our overall rating of the service has not changed since our last inspection.

People using the service said they felt safe. One person said, “I feel really safe living here. I can lock the door to my room.”

Staff had been trained to protect people from harm and abuse. All of the staff we spoke with knew how to keep people safe. Incidents and accidents were reported and investigated. Records showed lessons learned from these were shared with staff.

Risk assessments were carried out. Positive risk taking was promoted. One staff member said, “We supported one person to catch the bus on their own; it sounds a small thing to you or I, but to him it was a massive step.”

Staff were trained to carry out their roles. Regular in-depth supervisions took place with staff.

People were 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. Advocacy services were available for people to access.

People using the service spoke highly of the staff. One person said, “Staff encourage us. They ask us if there’s anything we want to talk about and help us work towards things we want to achieve.” We observed many positive interactions between staff and people using the service.

Support plans were person centred and detailed people’s short and long term goals. People were actively involved in these.

Regular feedback was sought from people and their families. Complaints were investigated and resolved appropriately. Many compliments had been received.

There was a strong and visible leadership from the registered manager. They were passionate and focussed about their role. They said, “One of our many successes is building people’s independence skills. The team here are very good at supporting people to achieve the things they want.” One person said “[The manager] is really good. If I want or need anything, she’ll do what she can to make it happen.”

There were robust quality assurance processes in place. The service was always seeking ways to improve the outcomes for people.

Further information is in the detailed findings below.

Inspection carried out on 22 February 2016

During a routine inspection

Stratford Lodge is a care home which provides accommodation and personal care for up to nine people with autism. All of the people who live at the service have attended the nearby Grateley House School. People continued to receive specialist therapy services from the school and some also attend local colleges. The service is part of the school’s post 16 ‘sixth form’ provision and supports people who are preparing to leave the school to move to more independent settings. At the time of our inspection nine people were living at Stratford Lodge, all of whom were aged between 17 and 19.

This inspection took place on 22 February 2016 and was unannounced. We returned on 2 March 2016 to meet with more of the students and complete the inspection.

There was a registered manager in post at the service. 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 and associated Regulations about how the service is run. At the time of the inspection the registered manager was on a period of leave. The provider had notified CQC of the registered manager’s absence and had appointed a manager to cover her role. The registered manager was expected to return to work in March 2016.

People who use the service were positive about the care they received and praised the quality of the staff and management. Comments from people included, “I can’t think of anything I don’t like. I liked it at school, but it’s much more independent here”; “Staff treat us well and provide good support” and “I am very happy here, I’ve never had any problems. Staff treat me well and I feel safe”.

People told us they felt safe when receiving care and were involved in developing and reviewing their support plans. Systems were in place to protect people from abuse and harm and staff knew how to use them.

Staff understood the needs of the people they were supporting. People told us staff provided support in the way that they wanted it and that they were kind.

Staff were appropriately trained and skilled. They received a thorough induction when they started working for the service. They demonstrated a good understanding of their roles and responsibilities, as well as the values and philosophy of the service. The staff had completed training to ensure the care and support provided to people was safe and effective to meet their needs.

The service was responsive to people’s needs and wishes. People had regular group and individual meetings to provide feedback about their experiences and there was a robust complaints procedure. One person told us “I would speak to my personal tutor or the manager if I had any problems. They would help sort the issue out”.

The manager assessed and monitored the quality of care. The service encouraged feedback from people and their relatives, which they used to make improvements.