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Inspection carried out on 27 June 2017

During a routine inspection

Athelstan Place is a residential service for up to six people. The service offers accommodation, care and support for young people aged 16-25 with mental health needs or a learning disability and associated mental health needs. The accommodation is provided over two floors and comprises a communal sitting and dining area and three ‘pods’. Two of the pods contain two bedrooms and a kitchen and the other has a single bedroom, sitting area and a kitchen. There is also a garden which people can access to enjoy outdoor activities. At the time of our inspection there were three people living at the service although one was away on holiday at the time.

The inspection took place on 27 June 2017 and was unannounced. This was the first inspection of the service.

There was a registered manager in place. 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.

The provider had policies and procedures in place designed to protect people from abuse and staff had completed training in safeguarding people. The registered manager knew how and when to use safeguarding procedures appropriately. Risk assessments identified when people were at risk and plans were in place to minimise those risks and to deliver care and support which met people’s needs. People’s needs were met by suitable numbers of staff. Appropriate recruitment procedures were in place. People received their medicines as prescribed.

People’s needs were met by staff who were trained to do so as the provider had an ongoing training programme in place. The management and staff were clear about people’s right to consent to their care and support. People were generally independent with eating and drinking or needed little prompting and support. People were supported to access healthcare services, such as registering with a GP.

We observed a caring and positive attitude to people using the service, as well as people who had stopped using the service before our inspection. The staff team appeared to be a committed and confident staff group who believed that what they were doing was making a positive difference to young people's lives. People were at the centre of how the service was run. Staff said they would not discuss people or their needs with others living at the service. When we arrived at the service in the morning, staff were sensitive to which people were in the building and where they were. Staff took care not to infringe on their privacy whilst showing us around.

The service was responsive to people’s needs. People moved to the service either as a ‘step down’ (from hospital) because they needed less support than what was provided in a hospital setting, or a ‘step up’ because they needed more support than was provided in their previous accommodation. Care plans were detailed and specific to the individual’s assessed needs. People were involved in the creation of their care plans which were detailed around every aspect of their lives. People undertook a range of activities which were their choice, including socialising in the local community. The provider had a complaints procedure in place and signs were displayed around the service. People were also advised of the complaints procedure in the ‘welcome book’ they were given when they moved to the service and one person told us they would feel able to complain.

There was a clear management structure in place. The registered manager completed audits and provided information to the board of directors on a regular basis. Improvements to the service were made based on feedback from people using the service.