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Inspection carried out on 14 October 2019

During a routine inspection

About the service:

Smugglers Barn and Little Smugglers accommodates eight people with learning disabilities and autism in two adapted buildings.

The service has been developed and designed in line with the principles and values that underpin Registering the Right Support and other best practice guidance. This ensures that people who use the service can live as full a life as possible and achieve the best possible outcomes. The principles reflect the need for people with learning disabilities and / or autism to live meaningful lives that include control, choice and independence. People using the service receive planned and co-ordinated person-centred support that is appropriate and inclusive for them.

The service was registered for the support of up to nine people. Eight people were using the service at the time of this inspection.

People’s experience of using this service and what we found:

People and their relatives told us they felt safe. We saw there were safe policies and procedures in place that protected people from harm or abuse.

A new process for recording people’s needs and risks was in place that informed people's care plans and provided guidance for safe staff practices.

Staff recruitment practices were safe and appropriate staffing levels meant that people received appropriate support.

Medicines continued to be administered safely.

Good infection policies and procedures meant people were helped to be protected from the spread of infections.

The recording format for accidents and incidents included analysis that enabled the manager to learn from where things went wrong and put in place strategies to prevent re-occurrences.

Staff were not always supported appropriately with supervision. The provider recognised this and put in place a revised procedure that meant staff should now get appropriate support in this way.

Staff training was comprehensive and covered all the necessary areas of staff’s work with people.

People were supported to eat healthy and nutritious food and to drink enough to keep well hydrated.

People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests; the policies and systems in the service supported this practice.

The manager and staff spoke about the people they supported with care and kindness.

Assessments and care plans included details of their preferences and wishes for care and support. People and relatives told us they were involved in the assessment and care planning process.

The provider had systems in place to ensure concerns and complaints were responded to in an appropriate way.

The provider had systems and processes in place to monitor the quality and safety of the service.

For more details, please see the full report which is on the CQC website at

Rating at last inspection:

The last rating for this service was Good (02 May 2017).

Why we inspected:

This was a planned inspection in line with our inspection schedule. We found the service met the characteristics of a "Good" rating in all areas.

Follow up:

We will continue to monitor information we receive about the service until we return to visit as per our re-inspection programme. If we receive any concerning information we may inspect sooner.

Inspection carried out on 4 April 2017

During a routine inspection

The inspection took place on the 4 April 2017 and was announced. Forty eight hours’ notice of the

inspection was given to ensure that the people we needed to speak to were available

Smugglers Barn is a care home for a maximum of nine adults with learning disabilities and complex needs including autism and challenging behaviour. Smugglers Barn consists of two separate neighbouring houses which are next door to each other, Smugglers Barn and Little Smugglers Barn. On the day of the inspection seven people were living at the service.

At the last inspection on 10 February 2015, the service was rated Good. At this inspection we found the service remained Good.

People and a relative told us they felt the service was safe. One person told us “I like living here, safe oh yes”. A relative said “I am happy with the service. My relative has 1:1 when he is out. The lovely garden is enclosed and is so safe. Being supervised they walk to the bus stop on the main road”.

The provider remained to have arrangements in place for the safe ordering, administration, storage and disposal of medicines. People were supported to get their medicine safely when they needed it. People were supported to maintain good health and had access to health care services.

Staff considered peoples capacity using the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) as guidance. People’s capacity to make decisions had been assessed. 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. The provider was meeting the requirements of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS).

People and their relatives felt staff were skilled to meet the needs of people and provide effective care. Staff were happy with the training and development that was provided. One member of staff told us “I have worked with our manager before and really liked her way of working. I was happy with the induction, lots of training. I was able to follow my own pace and develop confidence”.

People’s individual needs continued to be assessed. Care plans were developed to identify what care and support they required. People were consulted about their care to ensure wishes and preferences were met. Staff worked with other healthcare professionals to obtain specialist advice about people’s care and treatment.

People remained encouraged to express their views and had completed surveys. Feedback received showed people were satisfied overall, and felt staff were friendly and caring. People and also said they felt listened to and any concerns or issues they raised were addressed. One person told us “Yes I talk to the manager who sorts it out”.

Staff supported people to eat and drink and they were given support to prepare meals of their choice. People’s nutritional needs were met and people reported that they could choose food and drink of their choice. One person told us “Yes I choose and do shopping weekly”. The person also told us how they cooked a meal one evening a week.

Staff felt fully supported by management to undertake their roles. Staff had regular meetings, supervision and development opportunities. People, staff and a relative found the registered manager approachable and professional. One person told us “Yes, I like the manager she talks to us”. A member of staff told us “It is a good place to work with good relationships and good support”.

Further information is in the detailed findings below:

Inspection carried out on 10 February 2015

During a routine inspection

The inspection took place on the 10 February 2015 and was announced. Forty eight hours notice of the inspection was given to ensure that the people we needed to speak to were available

Smugglers Barn is a care home for a maximum of four adults with learning disabilities and complex needs including mental health, challenging behaviour and epilepsy.

The service had a registered manager. 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.

The experiences of people were positive. People told us they felt safe living at the home and staff were very kind. Staff supported them to live independently and helped with living skills and self care. Staff showed a great understanding about their needs. People were encouraged and supported in daily activities such as going shopping and cooking their own food.

People had access to and could choose suitable educational, leisure and social activities in line with their individual interests and hobbies. These included day trips, shopping and working at a local farm.

People’s needs were assessed and care plans were developed to identify what care and support they required. Staff worked with healthcare professionals such as Doctors and Psychiatrists to obtain specialist advice to ensure people received the care and treatment they needed. People were supported to live as independently as possible.

Residents and staff meetings regularly took place which provided an opportunity for staff and people to feedback on the quality of the service. Staff and people told us they liked the regular meetings. Feedback was sought on a daily basis; the home accommodated four people and this meant they could talk to the staff throughout the day and raise any concerns if needed. Feedback was also sought on an annual basis via a survey for people and staff.

Staff were aware of their responsibility to protect people from harm or abuse and knew what action to take if they were concerned. They told us they were confident to use the procedures to raise concerns.

We saw there were enough staff to meet people’s needs. People were supported on a one to one basis. Staff were kind, attentive and patient when supporting people and treated them with respect. Staff spent time with people and were present in communal areas.

There was a positive and open working atmosphere at the service. People, staff and professionals all said they found the management team approachable and professional.

Inspection carried out on 9 January 2014

During a routine inspection

When we visited there were four people living in the home. We met three of the people and spoke with one in detail about his artwork and daily activities. He said he �like living in the home�. One person was engaging in their chosen activities at a local farm. We also spoke with four members of staff and two relatives.

Staff told us that Smugglers Barn was a �good home� and they said that the people living there were active, happy and well cared for by the staff who promoted their independence and autonomy. We also observed that there was a high level of respect for the people living in the home and staff were patient with people and supported them to achieve their goals. Whilst we were at the home we saw how staff worked with the people to accommodate their wishes and to resolve their concerns or issues.

One of the relatives we spoke with said, �I have no qualms about the place. The staff work tirelessly and never give up, even when his behaviour is difficult�.

Inspection carried out on 21 November 2012

During a routine inspection

We met with three of the four people who lived at Smugglers Barn. Each person told us that they liked living at the home. Two people showed us their bedrooms and said that they had chosen how their rooms had been decorated and furnished. One person talked to us about their life at the home, how they got on with staff and the activities they participated in. This gave us a good insight into how Smugglers Barn was run and provided us with evidence that the home was person centred.

We met five staff during our inspection and interviewed three of them, including the registered manager. Staff told us that Smugglers Barn was a good place to work and that people had genuine choice and control over their lives. Staff said that they believed people experienced "A good quality of life" at Smugglers Barn. Staff also told us that they felt well supported in their jobs with access to appropriate training and guidance from their manager.

We looked at a range of records and found that these were well maintained. It was evident that both staff and management understood the importance of keeping records accurate and up to date. This meant that staff were able to support people consistently and effectively.

Inspection carried out on 2 September 2011

During a routine inspection

During our visit, we found that people living in the home appeared settled and well cared for. This was reinforced by positive comments received and also evident from direct observation of effective interaction and of individuals being supported in a professional, sensitive and respectful manner.

In accordance with their wishes and individual support plans, people are encouraged and enabled, as far as practicable, to make choices about their daily lives.