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Inspection carried out on 12 and 14 January 2015

During a routine inspection

We carried out this unannounced inspection on 12 and 14 January 2015. The last inspection took place in December 2013 during which we found there were no breaches in the regulations. We received concerns from the local authority safeguarding team. These concerns are currently being looked at within a safeguarding process. We looked at the areas of concern during our inspection and found these were not substantiated.

Ocean Care Solutions Head Office provides a supported living service to people on the autistic spectrum. A supported living service is where people live in their own home and receive care and support in order to promote their independence. People have tenancy agreements with the landlord and a separate agreement to receive their care and support from the domiciliary care agency.

There is a registered manager 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.

We visited the supported living setting in Babbacombe Road, Torquay. People had their own rooms and shared other parts of the house including the lounge, kitchen, dining room, and bathroom.

People benefited from receiving care and support from skilled, trained, and experienced staff who knew them well. One person told us “I’m happy with my support”. The provider, registered manager and staff all had experience of working with people on the autistic spectrum. A relative commented “Their knowledge around clients with autism is vast”.

People were happy and relaxed on the day of our inspection visit. One person said “I like living here, I’m happy”. Staff treated people with respect and kindness. People responded to this by smiling and engaging with staff in a friendly way. A community learning disability nurse who regularly visited said the service was really good and caring.

Flexible staff support was provided to meet people’s needs and allow them to follow their interests. People were enabled through positive risk taking to progress, gain new skills, and increase their independence.

People were active members of their local community and took part in a range of activities. Staff supported people to achieve their aspirations. A community learning disability nurse said if there was anything people wanted to do, the registered manager did their best to make it happen.

People were supported to maintain a balanced diet. People took part in food shopping and preparing their meals. Staff offered choices in food and drink and supported people to prepare them.

The service had an open culture, a clear vision and values, which were put into practice. People told us they found the provider was approachable and were encouraged to ring them at any time. One relative said “The door is always open and I feel that I can drop in at any time”. The provider and registered manager worked alongside the staff member in the home. People knew them well and were comfortable with them. The staff member told us they felt supported by the team they worked with and commented “I like the fact it’s all about people being happy and progressing”.

The provider had systems in place to assess and monitor the quality of care and support provided. The service encouraged feedback and used this to drive improvements.

Inspection carried out on 4 December 2013

During a routine inspection

There were five people who used the service on the day of our visit. We spoke with two people and saw two support plans. At the time of our inspection the service only employed two care workers, we spoke with one of them. People we spoke with said “everything I like is in my care plan”, “I’ve been independent all my life” and “I see staff if I need any help”.

People who lived in the flats were able to explain to us that staff provided the care and support they needed. They told us they were involved in all of the decisions about the care and support provided to them. Comments from people who used the service included “staff ask before doing anything”, “I know what’s in my care plan and I’ve signed it” and “I’m allowed to decide for myself”.

People we spoke with during the inspection felt that there were always enough staff on duty and said that there was always “someone available”.

People were very complimentary about the staff that supported them. Comments included; "staff are alright", “they look after me”, and “I can talk to them”.

Inspection carried out on 15 March 2013

During a routine inspection

On the day of our visit, four people received support from this service. Each had self contained flats for which they had their own tenancies. We were told that care packages ranged from two hours a day to seventy hours each week. We spoke with one person who was at the service during our visit. They spoke positively about the support they received.

The care hours are covered by the provider, the registered manager and one other care worker employed by the provider. The staff member told us that they felt supported in their work and had good opportunities for training.

We found that people's privacy, dignity and independence were respected. They told us that they experienced support that met their needs and protected their rights. The provider had a clear policy and procedure in place for staff to follow which protected people who used the service from the risk of abuse. People were supported by suitably qualified, skilled and experienced staff.

We found that the care practice at the home was centred around the individuals’ needs and that this was supported through policies and procedures, supervision of staff and communication with other agencies.