14 June 2019
We carried out this inspection under Section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (the Act) as part of our regulatory functions. This inspection was planned to check whether the provider was meeting the legal requirements and regulations associated with the Act, to look at the overall quality of the service, and to provide a rating for the service under the Care Act 2014.
The inspection was carried out by an adult social care inspector and an assistant adult social care inspector.
Service and service type:
Freeman College is a specialist residential college. The service is registered to provide care and support for up to 10 students living in small ‘team houses’. CQC regulates both the premises and the care provided, and both were looked at during this inspection. The service is also registered to provide personal care to young people living with shared lives carers. The educational provision at the college is regulated by the Office for Standards in Education (OfSTED).
The service had a manager registered with the Care Quality Commission. This means that they and the provider are legally responsible for how the service is run and for the quality and safety of the care provided.
Notice of inspection:
We gave the service 48 hours’ notice of the inspection visit we needed to be sure that they would be in.
Inspection site visit activity took place on 9 May 2019 when we visited the office to see the registered manager, staff and students and to review care records, policies and procedures. We spoke to relatives on 14 May 2019.
What we did:
Our inspection was informed by evidence we already held about the service. We also checked for feedback from the local authority and other stakeholders. Providers are required to send us key information about their service, what they do well, and improvements they plan to make. This information helps support our inspections.
We spoke with three students who use the service and three of their relatives. We spoke with the registered manager, the deputy manager, the safeguarding and training officers, and two support workers. We reviewed four student’s care records in full as well as various parts of two other student’s care plans, five staff personnel files, audits and other records about the management of the service.
14 June 2019
About the service:
Freeman College provides accommodation and personal care for students between the ages of 16 and 25 with complex learning and behavioural difficulties, who are also in the education sector. Residential students live in team houses in the local community. There were six students living in these houses at the time of the inspection. Two students were living in share lives placements.
This service provides care and support to students living in 'supported living' settings, so that they can live in their own home as independently as possible. People's care and housing are provided under separate contractual agreements. CQC does not regulate premises used for supported living; this inspection looked at people’s personal care and support.
People’s experience of using this service:
The service was exceptional at ensuring students were at the heart of the service and its values. Its vision was very clear and it had a strong person-centred ethos to promote the independence of students, empowering them and supporting them to achieve outcomes. Staff and documentation exhibited this.
Holistic support plans were very detailed and written from the students' perspective.
Students were supported to express their views and have choice over all aspects of their daily lives. Students were supported to make decisions and documents showed how decisions were led, considered and reached by students.
Students' independence was paramount and relatives spoke highly of how this was encouraged and enabled. Students' privacy and dignity was respected.
Students were safe.
There was a robust safeguarding system in place; students and staff were aware of the procedure and how to raise concerns.
Positive risk assessments were in place which supported students to develop and maintain their independence whilst keeping them safe.
Students’ needs and choices were assessed according to their wishes and outcomes were monitored to ensure students get the level of support they need.
Staff were generally well-trained, however there were some staff who had not had up-to-date training in line with provider policies.
Students’ nutritional health was monitored and they were encouraged and supported to eat healthily; growing much of their own vegetables.
Consent was asked and recorded for all aspects of students’ lives; staff were knowledgeable about the Mental Capacity Act and its principles.
Concerns and complaints were monitored and action taken when appropriate.
Rating at last inspection:
At our last inspection the service was rated good (11 November 2016).
Why we inspected:
This inspection was part of our scheduled plan of visiting services to check the safety and quality of care people receive.
We will continue to monitor information and intelligence we receive about the service to ensure care remains safe and of good quality. We will return to re-inspect in line with our inspection timescales for good services, however if any information of concern is received, we may inspect sooner .
For more details, please see the full report which is on the CQC website at www.cqc.org.uk