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Inspection carried out on 21 February 2018

During a routine inspection

New Willow House provides a short stay respite service for adults with a learning disability. The home is a two storey building with a number of adaptations to meet the needs of people who use the service. Accommodation comprises of four bedrooms and spacious communal areas. The home is close to transport links and is within easy reach of local amenities.

The service had 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 2008 and associated Regulations about how the service is run.

New Willow House was registered by CQC on 18 November 2016. This was the homes first rated inspection.

Relatives told us they were confident that people were safe at New Willow House.

There were systems and processes in place to protect people from harm. They had their medicines administered safely. Risks to people's health and well-being were identified, planned for and managed. There were sufficient competent and experienced staff to provide people with appropriate support when they needed it.

Staff had a good understanding about the signs of abuse and were aware of what to do if they suspected abuse was taking place. People's needs were assessed before and when they moved into the home and on an ongoing basis to reflect changes in their needs.

Clear and well thought out arrangements were in place for people planning to access the service which helped to reduce anxiety about this change.

Relatives knew how to make a complaint and were sure they would be listened to and have any concerns acted upon.

People were supported to have 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.

People were supported to maintain good health and had access to health and social care professionals when necessary.

The registered manager and staff had created a warm welcoming atmosphere for people and their families. There were close relationships with social and healthcare professionals and the quality of the service was reviewed regularly.

We observed excellent relationships between people and observed the senior management team and staff interacting with people in a caring, good humoured and friendly manner. Management and staff demonstrated understanding of people's personal preferences and needs. People appeared happy and relaxed during our visit.

A robust system for staff recruitment, induction and training was in place. This enabled the staff to support people effectively and safely.

The home was clean, tidy and homely in character. There were systems in place to prevent the spread of infection. Staff were trained in infection control.

Electrical and gas appliances were serviced regularly. Each person had a personal emergency evacuation plan (PEEP) and there was a business plan for any unforeseen emergencies.

The managers and staff demonstrated a good understanding of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). The MCA and DoLS provide legal safeguards for people who are unable to make their own decisions.

Effective quality assurance audits were in place to monitor the service. The service regularly sought feedback from the people who lived there and their relatives. Staff had regular supervisions and were invited to team meetings. Staff told us that they enjoyed working at the service and felt that they were listened to by the managers.

The service had been developed and designed in line with the principles that underpin the Registering the Right Support and other best practice guidance; these values include choice, promotion of independence and inclusion. This policy asserts that people with learning disabilities and autism using a service should