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Inspection carried out on 23 January 2018

During a routine inspection

Oakhurst Lodge is a care home. People in care homes receive accommodation and their care as a single package under one contractual agreement. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates both the premises and the care provided and both were looked at during this inspection. Oakhurst Lodge provides care for up to eight young adults with autism and severe learning difficulties often accompanied by complex needs, behaviours which might challenge others and self-injurious behaviours. At the time of our inspection there were seven people of both sexes living at the home. The service is located in a residential area close to local amenities. There is a large secure garden and parking on site.

This was the first comprehensive inspection of this service under the provider CAS Care Services Limited. We have rated the service as Good overall. This was because, although we found some areas where the service could improve upon, people overall experienced good care and support.

The service has a registered manager. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the Care Quality Commission (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.

Some improvements were needed to ensure that medicines were managed safely and in line with the provider’s policies and procedures. The home was clean and suitable cleaning schedules were in place, however staff were not consistently completing records which demonstrated that they were complying with food hygiene records.

Most parents felt that communication was an area where improvements could be made. Whilst people took part in a range of leisure activities, some relatives felt there was scope to expand on this.

There were sufficient numbers of staff to meet people's needs. Risk assessments were carried out to enable people to receive care with minimum risk to themselves or others.

The provider had appropriate policies and procedures for reporting abuse. This ensured staff had clear guidance about what they must do if they suspected abuse was taking place.

Accidents and incidents were investigated to make sure that any causes were identified and action was taken to minimise any risk of reoccurrence. Lessons learnt were communicated effectively with the staff team and throughout the organisation through a lessons learnt group.

People’s dietary needs were met and they were supported to make meal choices.

There were systems in place to support effective joint working with other professionals and agencies and to ensure that people’s healthcare needs were met.

In general the environment was suited to people’s needs. Further improvements were planned to make the environment more homely. People were being consulted on this.

Staff had built strong relationships with people and knew how best to support them. They knew what was important to people and what they should be mindful of when providing their support. Staff interacted with people in a kind and caring manner.

Staff supported people in a way that maintained their independence and they spoke with, and about, people in a respectful manner. People were supported to maintain relationships with people that mattered to them.

Staff had taken innovative steps to provide information to people in a way in which they could understand allowing them to be as involved as possible in decisions about how their care was provided. People were involved in the running of the service through weekly house meetings.

The registered manager used complaints or concerns to understand how they could improve or where they were doing well.

The registered manager demonstrated a good knowledge of each person living at the home. The registered manager had a clear vision for the service which was underpinned by key values which included dignity, respec