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Archived: Summer Cottage Good

The provider of this service changed - see new profile


Inspection carried out on 8 December 2015

During a routine inspection

Summer Cottage is registered to provide personal care and accommodation for up to two young adults who may have a learning disability or an autistic spectrum disorder. The service is located on a rural road within a short walk of Palace Farm which is owned and run by the same people as Summer Cottage.

This inspection took place on 8 December 2015 and was unannounced. The service was last inspected on 30 December 2013 when we found the regulations we inspected were being met.

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 a legal responsibility for meeting the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated Regulations about how the service is run.

Palace Farm is located on the grounds of a small working farm. People who lived in Summer Cottage were able to visit the farm at any time and take part in animal care. The animals included horses, sheep, chickens, ducks and geese. Also located on the farm was a large vegetable garden and a workshop area which offered woodwork and mechanics.

People benefited from a large number of meaningful activities which met people’s individual interests. For example, people took part in horse carriage riding, swimming, cooking, gardening and shopping. On the day of our inspection people were in and out of the home taking part in various activities. We saw people enjoyed the activities they were involved in.

People’s relatives and healthcare professionals were complimentary about the care provided. Comments included “I think it’s great” and “100% marvellous” and “They really look after their residents. It’s really, really good. They know what they’re doing”.

Staff treated people with kindness and respect. People enjoyed pleasant and affectionate interactions with staff which demonstrated people felt comfortable in their presence. Staff knew people’s preferences and spent time speaking with each person individually whilst using different communication methods. Staff communicated with people using pictures, photographs and Makaton (a language using signs and symbols).

Staff received training that was specifically related to the needs of the people who lived at Summer Cottage in order to support them to lead fulfilling lives. Staff told us they felt skilled to meet people’s needs and had received regular training. Staff comments included “Staff have enough training, if you want more training you just ask” and “We are offered loads of training”.

People were supported by staff who knew them well. Staff knew people’s routines, preferences and histories and knew how best to communicate with people.

People’s needs had been assessed and care plans had been put in place to meet those needs. Where people’s needs had changed, staff had taken action to ensure people received the care they needed.

Where people were not able to make decisions for themselves staff involved people’s relatives and appropriate professionals to make sure people received care that was in their best interest. People were supported to be involved in as many decisions as possible and were always asked for their consent and given options. Some people were being deprived of their liberty as they were under constant supervision and were not able to leave the home on their own for their own safety. The registered manager had made the appropriate Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DoLS) applications to the local authority and these had been approved.

There were sufficient staff to meet people’s needs. Staff spent time chatting with people individually and helping people to take part in individual and group outings. Staff comments included “There are always enough staff”.

People were helped to eat and drink enough to maintain good health. Mealtimes were a sociable experience with staff eating alongside people. People were supported to help prepare their meals and could choose what they wanted to eat. People’s mealtimes were relaxed and flexible to meet people’s activity commitments and routines.

People’s relatives were involved in the home and always felt welcome. Relatives told us they could visit the home at any time and could contact staff whenever they wanted. One healthcare professional told us they also felt welcome anytime. They said “I never feel uncomfortable turning up unannounced. I always get a warm welcome”. Relatives felt involved in people’s care and told us they were kept regularly informed.

People were protected against the risks associated with medicines because the provider had appropriate systems in place to manage medicines. Staff had received training and competency evaluations in relation to medicines.

People’s needs and abilities had been assessed and risk assessments had been put in place to guide staff on how to protect people. For example, where one person’s behaviours presented challenges and risks to themselves and others, staff had discussed the behaviours and created a specific plan. This plan included specific routines to follow in order to ensure the best outcome for the person. Staff had sought advice from healthcare professionals such as speech and language therapists, the person’s GP and a consultant psychiatrist. This minimised the risk to the person and staff.

Where accidents and incidents had taken place, these had been reviewed and action had been taken to ensure the risk to people was minimised. Premises and equipment were maintained to ensure people were kept safe and there were arrangements in place to deal with foreseeable emergencies.

People were protected by staff who knew how to recognise possible signs of abuse. Staff told us what signs they would look for and the procedures they would follow to report these. Safeguarding contact numbers were accessible to staff and people who lived in Summer Cottage were also provided with information for reporting concerns. There was a disability hate crime poster in hallway which contained contact information for reporting concerns.

Recruitment procedures were in place to ensure only people of good character were employed by the home. Potential staff underwent Disclosure and Barring Service (police record) checks to ensure they were suitable to work with vulnerable adults.

The two owners of Summer Cottage managed the service and one was the registered manager. A third manager had been employed to assist with day to day management. There was an open culture in the service and the management team were available and approachable. Staff members said “They are all really supportive” and “Every single one of the managers is supportive and approachable”. One healthcare professional said “The owners are always around and have a good grip and know what’s going on”.

Relatives told us they felt comfortable speaking with management and felt they would be listened to. They felt confident if they made a complaint this would be dealt with. One relative said “I do know how to make a complaint but I’ve never had to”.

There were systems in place to assess, monitor and improve the quality and safety of care. The registered manager and the manager undertook regular spot checks to ensure people’s care needs were being met, staff were displaying the home’s philosophy of care and documentation was being maintained. The home’s philosophy of care was to treat each person as an individual and enhance people’s independence and living skills through meaningful activity. Staff and management carried out weekly and monthly audit which looked at the care provided, medicines management, fire safety and the environment.

Inspection carried out on 30 December 2013

During a routine inspection

We spoke with two senior care staff another member of staff and an administration person. We also spoke with the two resident people within the house.

The people who lived at Summer Cottage told us that they enjoyed their lives at the house. One person told us "I really love it here" another told us "I like to cook dinner". People had clear assessments of their needs and plans and strategies were in place to meet them. People's care plans were reviewed regularly.

Staff worked at the pace of each individual and encouraged their independence. People were given choices about their care and how they spent their day. People had made friendships within the house and had access to both formal, informal, organised and social activities.

Staff had all received training in safeguarding vulnerable adults and recognising abuse and knew how to report any concerns. People told us they felt safe within the house.

We saw that all medication had been obtained, stored and administered correctly and safely within correct medication policy and procedure.

There were sufficient staff on duty to meet people's needs. Appropriate background checks had been completed on staff. Frequent audits were in place to continually monitor and assess the quality of care.

Inspection carried out on 6 March 2013

During a routine inspection

People who lived in the home told us they enjoyed living there and were supported and encouraged by staff to make choices about their lives. People said they enjoyed the activities on the farm and the work experience they undertook.

People who lived in the service told us that staff were friendly and treated them with respect. We were told that people thought it was a safe place to live.

Staff we spoke with said they felt well supported by the managers and received regular supervision. Staff told us they were confident about reporting concerns and making suggestions to the managers.

People were supported to develop plans of care that were person centred and specific to their individual needs. We saw that these were being regularly reviewed and updated.

Inspection carried out on 1 November 2011

During a routine inspection

The person living at the home had significant support needs. Because of these needs, the person we met was unable to tell us in detail about their experience of care being delivered or planned. Therefore we observed the person and spoke with staff. We watched interactions between the staff and the person to come to a judgement.

The person said they “liked living at Summer Cottage” and “liked the staff.”

The person appeared relaxed around the staff at the home and there was a relaxed atmosphere at the home. We saw staff delivering support with patience and care. We saw interactions which showed mutual respect and affection.

The person living at the home had a timetable of activities which reflected their interest, hobbies and abilities. Examples included arts and crafts, horse

riding, and pottery. We also saw examples to show that the person living at the home had support in attending educational courses.

Staff explained that whilst the person had a key worker who offered support and guidance, advocates were also used to make sure the person's voice and opinions were heard. Staff also explained the person living at the home had attended a 'speaking out' group where they are able to share experiences with their peers.

Despite the person being young, fit and healthy, staff supported the person to monitor their health and have access to a local GP, NHS services and those of other healthcare professionals as needed.

The person’s needs and preferences had been assessed. Their daily routines, communication needs, food likes and dislikes, and important people in their life had been recorded in their care plan. Staff reviewed these assessments regularly, to monitor whether they could see any changes.

People appeared relaxed around the staff at the home. We saw interactions where mutual respect and affection were shared. People living at the home had been given picture guides of what they should do if they felt unsafe, scared or had suffered abuse. People also had access to ways of complaining about life in the home.