1 February 2024
We carried out this inspection under Section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (the Act) as part of our regulatory functions. We checked whether the provider was meeting the legal requirements and regulations associated with the Act. We looked at the overall quality of the service and provided a rating for the service under the Health and Social Care Act 2008.
As part of this inspection we looked at the infection control and prevention measures in place. This was conducted so we can understand the preparedness of the service in preventing or managing an infection outbreak, and to identify good practice we can share with other services.
This inspection was carried out by 4 inspectors and 2 Experts by Experience. An Expert by Experience is a person who has personal experience of using or caring for someone who uses this type of care service.
Service and service type
Avalon Court Care Centre is a ‘care home’. People in care homes receive accommodation and nursing and/or personal care as a single package under one contractual agreement dependent on their registration with us. Avalon Court Care Centre is a care home without nursing care. CQC regulates both the premises and the care provided, and both were looked at during this inspection.
This provider is required to have a registered manager to oversee the delivery of regulated activities at this location. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the Care Quality Commission to manage the service. Registered managers and providers are legally responsible for how the service is run, for the quality and safety of the care provided and compliance with regulations.
At the time of our inspection there was a registered manager in post.
Notice of inspection
This inspection was unannounced.
What we did before the inspection
We reviewed information we had received about the service since the last inspection. We sought feedback from the local authority and professionals who work with the service. We sought feedback from Healthwatch. Healthwatch is an independent consumer champion that gathers and represents the views of the public about health and social care services in England. We used the information the provider sent us in the provider information return (PIR). This is information providers are required to send us annually with key information about their service, what they do well, and improvements they plan to make.
We used all this information to plan our inspection.
During the inspection
We spoke with 19 people and 9 friends / relatives about their experience of the care provided. We spent time with the people who lived at the home observing the quality of care and support they received. This helped us to understand the experiences of people who we were unable to communicate with us.
We spoke with 14 members of staff including the registered manager, the regional director, the operations director, the deputy manager, the chef, the training co-ordinator, a member of maintenance staff, 2-unit managers, 1 senior member of care staff and 3 care staff . We also spoke to 2 healthcare professionals about their experience of the care provided.
We reviewed a range of records. This included information contained in 9 people's care records and multiple medicine records. We also looked at 3 staff recruitment files and records related to the overall management and quality assurance of the service.
1 February 2024
About the service
Avalon Court Care Centre is a residential care home providing accommodation and personal care for up to 107 people. It is a purpose-built home in which care is provided across 4 floors. At the time of our inspection visit there were 101 people living at the home. Some of these people were living with dementia, a sensory impairment, physical disabilities and mental health conditions.
People’s experience of using this service and what we found
People were positive about the care they received at Avalon Court Care Centre. 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 provider was proactive in ensuring people’s voices were heard and helped shape the future of the home. They had recently invited some people to become ‘Resident Ambassadors’ to speak up on behalf of people.
People were cared for by enough suitably skilled staff who had been recruited safely and received the right training and support to deliver high quality care. Staff were proud to work at Avalon Court Care Centre and valued their role in supporting people to live their best life possible. The registered manager was a visible presence in the home and staff told us they were very open and approachable.
People were safeguarded from abuse and avoidable harm and staff understood their safeguarding responsibilities. The provider assessed risks to ensure people were safe. People had individual risk assessments and care plans that guided staff on how to manage risks associated with their care. People received their medicines as prescribed. Robust systems and processes ensured medicines were ordered, stored, administered, and disposed of safely.
People were supported to eat and drink enough to maintain a balanced diet. Risks around people's diets and nutrition had been identified. Where necessary staff referred people to other healthcare professionals to ensure their nutritional health was maintained. However, we did identify some inconsistency in the quality and accuracy of staff records to manage the risks for people at risk of malnutrition and weight loss. There was no evidence of harm to people and the registered manager took immediate action to improve recording following our inspection.
People were protected from the risk of infection as staff were following safe infection prevention and control practices and the home was exceptionally clean and tidy. Overall, environmental risks were managed safely, and regular checks took place which ensured the building was safe. We identified some potential risks relating to some pieces of equipment. Immediate action was taken to implement more robust checks to ensure any potential risks were further reduced.
Staff regularly monitored people to identify any signs of ill-health. Information was recorded in an electronic monitoring system which supported the early identification of deteriorating health in people. People had regular access to a GP who visited the home weekly.
Systems and process were in place to regularly assess the quality of care provided at the home. The registered manager completed a range of checks using the providers audit tools to improve review and improve standards in the home. Where we identified some improvements were needed in the effectiveness of some checks, the registered manager took immediate action to ensure more robust auditing following our visit.
For more details, please see the full report which is on the CQC website at www.cqc.org.uk
Rating at last inspection
The last rating for this service was good (published 30 November 2017).
Why we inspected
This inspection was prompted due to the length of time since the last inspection.
We undertook this focussed inspection to check the quality of service provided. This report only covers our findings in relation to the Key Questions safe, effective and well-led. You can read the report from our last comprehensive inspection, by selecting the ‘All inspection reports and timeline’ link for Avalon Court Care Centre on our website at www.cqc.org.uk.
We will continue to monitor information we receive about the service, which will help inform when we next inspect.