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Inspection carried out on 11 February 2021

During an inspection looking at part of the service

Meyrick Cottage is a care home registered to provide accommodation and personal care for up to six people diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders and learning disabilities. At the time of this inspection there were five people living at the home. Meyrick Cottage includes two self contained flats on the ground floor that support people to live as independent a life as possible. The remaining bedrooms are single occupancy and situated on the first floor, which is accessed by a central staircase. People have access to a communal kitchen, dining area and lounge that leads on to a level access secure garden.

We found the following examples of good practice.

People, staff and visitors to Meyrick Cottage were protected from risks of infection as policies, systems and staff practices reflected national best practice guidance. Visiting was by appointment only and there were robust systems in place to ensure people's safety. These included temperature checks on arrival, plentiful supply of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and appropriate guidance posters on how people could keep themselves and others safe and minimise the risk of cross infection. For visitors that were not taking an active role in any regular Covid-19 testing process, they were asked to complete a rapid Covid-19 test before they entered the premises. These tests indicate a positive or negative test result within 30 minutes.

The home was light, airy, uncluttered and visibly clean throughout. There were robust cleaning schedules in place that were regularly audited to ensure the premises were kept safe from the risk of infection from cross contamination.

Cleaning products were in line with government guidance and available throughout the home. Hand sanitiser dispensers were plentiful and an audible alarm sounded when they became empty, this ensured people always had a supply of sanitiser throughout the home.

Staff were up to date with infection, prevention and control training and had completed training in how to put on, remove and dispose of their PPE. Spot checks were completed by the registered manager to ensure staff were following IPC processes safely.

The home regularly tested people and staff in line with the government’s Covid-19 testing programme. At the time of the inspection people and staff were free from Covid-19.

People had individual Covid-19 risk assessments. There was good use of easy read booklets and social stories to help reassure people who might feel anxious seeing staff in PPE. The service was working within the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) in relation to all Covid-19 processes.

People were supported to maintain their health and sense of wellbeing. People had use of their own mobile phones and tablets for internet use and to maintain contact with their family and friends. For people who were not able to use electronic devices, staff supported them to contact their families via telephone and video calls.

Inspection carried out on 18 June 2019

During a routine inspection

About the service

Meyrick Cottage is a care home registered to provide accommodation and personal care for up to six people diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders and learning disabilities. At the time of this inspection there were two people living at the home.

The service has been developed and designed in line with the principles and values that underpin Registering the Right Support and other best practice guidance. This ensures that people who use the service can live as full a life as possible and achieve the best possible outcomes. The principles reflect the need for people with learning disabilities and/or autism to live meaningful lives that include control, choice, and independence. People using the service receive planned and co-ordinated person-centred support that is appropriate and inclusive for them.

People’s experience of using the service:

The service applied the principles and values of Registering the Right Support and other best practice guidance. These ensure that people who use the service can live as full a life as possible and achieve the best possible outcomes that include control, choice and independence.

The outcomes for people using the service reflected the principles and values of Registering the Right Support by promoting choice and control, independence and inclusion. People’s support focussed on them having as many opportunities as possible for them to gain new skills and become more independent.

People told us they enjoyed living at Meyrick Cottage. They told us they felt safe living at Meyrick Cottage and liked the staff who knew them well and provided their support and care with kindness, patience, respect and dignity. Relatives told us they found the staff to be kind, friendly, supportive and professional.

Staff understood how to identify and report abuse and were well supported in their roles. Staff received regular supervision meetings and a variety of training courses to enable them to carry out their roles competently.

Risks to people’s health, safety and well being were regularly assessed, reviewed and updated. People and their families were fully included and involved in their care and support. People's views and opinions were listened to and acted upon wherever possible.

People’s health care needs were met and staff supported them to see healthcare professionals when appropriate. Medicines were managed, stored and administered safely. People were supported to take their medicines safely by staff who had received the appropriate levels of training.

People were supported by safely recruited staff and there were enough appropriately trained and experienced staff to support people in ways that suited them. Communication styles and methods were tailored to individual people and staff supported people to understand the choices available to them.

Staff felt well supported by the management team and their colleagues. Staff received regular supervision sessions that were conducted in a supportive and positive way which enabled staff to develop within their respective roles. Staff spoke positively of the training they received which they said was effective, well delivered and tailored to the needs of the people living at Meyrick Cottage.

People were supported to cook some meals for themselves which encouraged and maintained their independence. People received healthy, nutritious meals which they enjoyed planning and preparing. Meal times were a social occasion where people could choose to spend time with others or in their bedrooms if they preferred.

People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests; the policies and systems in the service supported this practice.

The premises were well maintained and kept in a clean and safe condition. People had personalised bedrooms which they spoke proudly about and told us they found comfortable.

People led busy, active live