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Inspection carried out on 7 November 2018

During a routine inspection

The inspection was carried out on 7 and 8 November 2018 and was announced. This was the first inspection since the service was registered in October 2017.

YourLife St Albans provides personal care and support to people living in their own flats. It operates an ‘assisted living plus’ scheme in a purpose built private development called Eleanor House. People’s care and housing are provided under separate contractual agreements. CQC does not regulate premises used for assisted living housing. The inspection looked at people’s personal care and support service. The service is available to older adults over 70 years of age.

The property consists of 50 flats privately owned and occupied by older people who also share some communal areas and facilities; such as communal lounges, dining area, laundry facilities and external gardens.

Not everyone using YourLife St Albans received a regulated activity of personal care. CQC only inspects the service being received by people provided with ‘personal care’; such as help with personal care, eating and drinking and assistance with the administration of medicines. Where they do we also take into account any wider social care provided.

At the time of our inspection four people who lived at Eleanor House received personal care and support. The service had a manager who was registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). A registered manager is a person who has registered with the CQC 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 and associated Regulations about how the service is run.

People felt safe at the service and staff knew how to recognise and respond to potential abuse. Risks were assessed and measures put in place to mitigate and reduce risk where possible. Safe and effective recruitment practices were followed to ensure staff were of good character and suited to work in this type of service. Sufficient staff were deployed to meet people’s needs in a timely way. People were supported to take their medicines safely by staff who had been trained. Staff followed appropriate infection control procedures to reduce the risk and spread of infection.

People received effective care from staff who were supported through supervision and training. People were encouraged and supported when required to eat and drink appropriate amounts to maintain their wellbeing. People also had support to access health care services when required

The registered manager and staff were aware of the of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and people were supported to live independent lives. Staff were kind, caring and treated people with dignity and respect. People and staff had developed positive relationships. People were involved in developing their care and support needs, which were kept under regular review.

Care plans included information to enable staff to meet people’s needs in a way that they chose. People were encouraged to engage in activities within the service. People knew how to raise concerns and were confident they would be listened to.

People, relatives and staff were positive about the management team and how the service was run. There were quality assurance systems and audits in place to help make continual improvements and provide a good standard of care.