Ashford Lodge is a supported living service for people with mental health support needs. People receiving support live in a shared house with communal facilities. At the time of our inspection the service was providing support to four men with a history of long term use of hospital- based mental health services.
At our last inspection we rated the service good. At this inspection we found the evidence continued to support the rating of good and there was no evidence or information from our inspection and ongoing monitoring that demonstrated serious risks or concerns. This inspection report is written in a shorter format because our overall rating of the service has not changed since our last inspection.
The service has a registered manager. Like registered providers, registered managers are ‘registered persons’. Registered persons have legal responsibility for meeting the requirements of the Health and Social Care Act and associated Regulations about how the service is run.
People told us that they felt safe at Ashford Lodge and were happy with the support that they received from staff. We saw that people were comfortable and familiar with the staff supporting them.
Support plans and risk assessments were person centred and provided detailed guidance for staff around meeting people’s needs. People had come to the service following long term hospital stays and their support records showed how they were supported to maintain their mental health and to regain the confidence and skills they required to move on to more independent living in the future.
The service supported people to participate in a range of activities in the local community. Staff members supported people to plan an annual holiday and regular group outings Staff members also encouraged and supported people to identify and access new activities of their choice. People’s cultural, religious and social needs were supported by the service and detailed information about these was contained in their support plans. Staff members demonstrated that they understood people's individual needs and requirements.
Staff members had received training in safeguarding of adults and were able to demonstrate their understanding of what this meant for the people they were supporting. They were knowledgeable about their role in ensuring that people were safe and that concerns were reported appropriately.
Medicines at the service were well managed. People’s medicines were stored safely and given to them appropriately and records of medicines were well maintained. Staff members had received training in the safe administration of medicines. The service aimed to support people to manage their own medicines in the future and regular reviews of progress towards achieving this had taken place.
We saw that staff at the service supported people in a caring and respectful way, and responded promptly to meet their needs and requests. People told us there were enough staff members on duty at all times.
The service was meeting the requirements of The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA). Information about people’s capacity to make decisions was included in their support plans. Three of the four people using the service were subject to restrictions under the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA), for example, in relation to taking their medicines regularly and returning home at a specified time in the evening. These restrictions were regularly reviewed with the person and their mental health professionals.
Staff who worked at the service received regular training and were knowledgeable about their roles and responsibilities. Appropriate checks had taken place as part of the recruitment process to ensure that staff were suitable for the work that they would be undertaking. All staff members received regular supervision from a manager and those whom we spoke with told us that they felt well supported.
The home had a complaints procedure that was provided in an easy read format. This was discussed at regular resident’s meetings. People told us that they would tell the manager or staff member if they were unhappy about anything. People told us they knew what to do if they had any complaints or concerns.
The home’s policies and procedures were up to date and reflected legal requirements and current best practice. Regular quality assurance monitoring had taken place and actions had been taken to ensure that concerns arising from these checks were addressed promptly. People were asked for their views at regular meetings and we saw that the service had made changes in response to people's requests.
People’s physical and mental health needs were regularly reviewed. The service liaised with other health and social care professionals to ensure that people received the support that they needed.
Further information is provided within the detailed findings below.