This inspection took place on 8 October 2015 and was announced. The last inspection took place in November 2013 when the service was found to be meeting the Regulations.
Avalon Harrogate Services provides personal care and support to people who have a learning disability. Some of the people who use the service are also living with dementia. There are two aspects of the service. Some people who receive support live in small supported living services which are staffed according to assessed needs. Other people live in a family setting with a main carer. This is called shared lives. The aim of the service is to support people to live independently. The service currently provides personal care to seven people in supported living and five people in shared lives. For the purposes of this report the term ‘staff’ refers to supported living workers as well as shared lives carers.
A registered manager was in post. 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.
People told us they felt safe at the service. Staff were confident about how to protect people from harm and what they would do if they had any safeguarding concerns. There were good systems in place to make sure that people were supported to take medicines safely and as prescribed.
Risks to people had been assessed and plans put in place to keep risks to a minimum. An ‘out of hours’ service was in place so that people could contact a member of staff in an emergency.
There were enough staff on duty to make sure people’s needs were met. The provider had robust recruitment procedures to make sure staff had the required skills and were of suitable character and background.
Staff told us they enjoyed working at the service and that there was good team work. Staff were supported through training, regular supervisions and team meetings to help them carry out their roles effectively. Staff were supported by an open and accessible management team.
The manager and staff were aware of the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). DoLS are put in place to protect people where their freedom of movement is restricted. The registered manager had taken appropriate action for those people for whom restricted movement was a concern. Best interest meetings were held where people had limited capacity to make decisions for themselves.
People told us that staff were caring and that their privacy and dignity were respected. Care plans were person centred and showed that individual preferences were taken into account. Care plans gave clear directions to staff about the support people required to have their needs met. People were supported to maintain their health and to access health services if needed.
People’s needs were regularly reviewed and appropriate changes were made to the support people received. People had opportunities to make comments about the service and how it could be improved.
There were effective management arrangements in place. The registered manager had a good oversight of the service and was aware of areas of practice that needed to be improved. There were systems in place to look at the quality of the service provided and action was taken where shortfalls were identified.