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Inspection carried out on 19 June 2017

During a routine inspection

The Lodge is a residential care home in the village of South Milford. The service provides accommodation for up to eight people and specialises in supporting younger adults living with a learning disability or autistic spectrum disorder.

We inspected this service on 19 and 26 June 2017. The inspection was unannounced. At the time of our inspection, there were five people using the service. This was the first inspection of this location since it was registered under a new provider, Action for Care Limited, in December 2016.

The inspection was in part prompted by concerns shared with us regarding the care and support provided at the service. This included concerns regarding the conduct of staff, staffing levels and medicine management. We used this information to plan our inspection and have reported our findings in relation to these concerns in the body of our report.

The provider is required to have a registered manager as a condition of their registration for this service. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the Care Quality Commission to manage the service. Like 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. At the time of our inspection, the service did have a registered manager.

During the inspection, we found people who used the service were safe. Staff understood their responsibility to safeguard adults who may be at risk of abuse. Care plans and risk assessments were used to guide staff on how to safely meet people’s needs. Appropriate recruitment checks were completed and sufficient staff were deployed to provide safe care to people who used the service. Medicines were managed safely, although me made a recommendation about ensuring medicines were stored at the correct temperature. Effective safeguards were in place to govern the use of physical interventions.

We observed the service to be clean, tidy and well maintained. Maintenance was carried out at required intervals and the manager completed regular health and safety audits to monitor and ensure the safety of the home environment.

Staff completed training and shadowed more experienced workers to gain the knowledge and skills needed to provide effective care and support. Staff received on-going supervisions to support their continued professional development.

People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported people in the least restrictive way possible; the policies and systems in the service support this practice. Staff supported people to ensure they ate and drank enough. Staff supported people to access healthcare services to maintain their health and well-being.

Staff were observed to be kind and caring. Staff supported people to maintain their privacy and dignity and to have choice and control over their daily routines.

Care plans were detailed and contained person-centred information. Staff knew people well and understood how to best meet their needs. People’s care and support was regularly reviewed to ensure it was meeting their needs. People were supported to engage in a range of activities and to access their wider community.

Systems were in place to gather and respond to feedback. The manager completed a range of audits to monitor the quality and safety of the service. People told us the manager was approachable, supportive and responsive to feedback.