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Inspection carried out on 27 July 2017

During a routine inspection

YourLife (Ponteland) provides personal care within an assisted living scheme for older people aged 70 or over. The complex comprises 59 owner occupied apartments. They are for single person or double occupancy. At the time of the inspection there were 12 people in receipt of a care service.

At the last inspection in April 2015 we had rated the service as Good. At this inspection we found the service remained Good and met each of the fundamental standards we inspected.

People told us they felt safe and were well cared for. There were sufficient staff hours available to meet people’s needs in a safe and timely way, and staff roles were flexible to allow this. Staff knew about safeguarding vulnerable adults procedures. Staff were subject to robust recruitment checks. Arrangements for managing people’s medicines were also safe. Appropriate processes were in place for the administration of medicines.

People told us their privacy, dignity and confidentiality were maintained. Staff understood the needs of people and care plans and associated documentation were clear and person centred. Risk assessments were in place and they accurately identified current risks to the person as well as ways for staff to minimise or appropriately manage those risks.

People had access to health care professionals to make sure they received appropriate care and treatment. Staff followed advice given by professionals to make sure people received the care they needed. People told us staff were kind and caring and they felt comfortable with all the staff who supported them

Appropriate training was provided and staff were supervised and supported. People were able to make choices about aspects of their daily lives. They were supported to have maximum 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 and staff spoke well of the registered manager and they said the service had good leadership. There were effective systems to enable people to raise complaints, and to assess and monitor the quality of the service. People told us they would feel confident to speak to staff about any concerns if they needed to. The provider undertook a range of audits to check on the quality of care provided. These methods included feedback from people receiving care.

Further information is in the detailed findings below.

Inspection carried out on 30 April and 5 May 2015

During a routine inspection

This inspection took place on 30 April and 5 May 2015 and was announced. We gave 48 hours’ notice of this inspection because the service is a small domiciliary care agency and we needed to be sure the registered manager would be available to assist us with this inspection.

We last inspected this service in September 2013, at which time we found the service to be complying with the regulations inspected.

YourLife Ponteland provides care and support to eight older people who reside in their own apartments within an assisted living scheme.

The service had 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.

Staff were fully aware of their responsibility to protect people using the service from harm. They had been trained to recognise and report any suspicion of abuse. People’s human rights were respected and we found no evidence of any discrimination.

Risks to people receiving a service were assessed on a regular basis, and appropriate actions taken to minimise any risk identified. Systems were in place to monitor the safety of the environment. There were contingency plans for responding to emergencies, and a senior member of staff was always on call.

There were sufficient staff hours available to meet people’s needs in a safe and timely way, and staff roles were flexible to allow this. Staff recruitment processes were robust, and ensured only suitable applicants were appointed to meet the needs of vulnerable people.

People who needed assistance with their prescribed medicines were provided with safe and appropriate support by staff.

The staff team was stable, experienced and well-motivated. People told us the staff met their needs promptly, pleasantly and effectively. There was a strong commitment to staff training, and staff took personal responsibility to increase their knowledge and skills.

Staff were given the necessary support, in terms of supervision and appraisal of their work. They told us they felt respected and valued by the registered manager and the provider, and took a pride in their work.

The service understood and protected people’s rights under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

People were asked to give their written and verbal consent to all staff interventions. People confirmed they knew they had the right to accept or refuse such staff actions, and told us staff treated them with respect at all times.

Any nutritional support needs a person might have were assessed and monitored appropriately.

People spoke highly of the caring nature of the service they received. They told us all the staff had pleasant, friendly attitudes and were always kind and attentive. They said their privacy and dignity were protected by the registered manager and staff, and they were helped to be as independent as possible.

People were fully involved in deciding what their care needs were, and how they wished those needs to be met by the staff. They told us their service was flexible and they could make their own decisions as to how they spent their time.

The registered manager provided clear and effective leadership to the service, and was liked and respected by both the people receiving a service and by the staff team. The culture in the service was open and responsive. People, their relatives and staff all said they felt they could express themselves freely and contribute to how the service operated.

Systems were in place to monitor the quality of the service, and these were effective in bringing about improvements to the organisation. Staff at all levels felt able to suggest ways in which the service could be developed. The registered manager received good effective support from the provider’s representatives.

Inspection carried out on 25 September 2013

During a routine inspection

At the time of our inspection the provider offered care to three people in an assisted living environment at Henderson Court where the service is located. We visited three people in their own apartments. They told us that care workers addressed them in the way they wished and were always polite and respected their choices about the way that care was delivered.

We found people's needs were assessed and care was planned in line with their needs. One person told us, "I am very happy here, I can be with my husband and have the care and support we both need." Care plans were recorded and were regularly updated and contained clear information about individuals' care. People or their relatives had been involved.

People who used the service were protected from the risk of abuse, because the provider had taken reasonable steps to identify the possibility of abuse and prevent abuse from happening. One person told us, "I am safe here. Staff help me check that everything is done and I can then rest peaceful in my bed."

Appropriate recruitment and staff checks were in place.

We saw the manager and provider undertook audits of the services provided. There were arrangements in place to gain additional feedback about the service provided from people who received support.