• Care Home
  • Care home

The Firs Also known as Desborough care

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

77 The Causeway, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, EN6 5HL (01707) 662299

Provided and run by:
Mr Sean Michael McInerney

Important: The provider of this service changed. See old profile

Latest inspection summary

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Background to this inspection

Updated 1 June 2019

The inspection: We carried out this inspection under Section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (the Act) as part of our regulatory functions. This inspection was planned to check whether the provider was meeting the legal requirements and regulations associated with the Act, to look at the overall quality of the service, and to provide a rating for the service under the Care Act 2014.

Inspection team: The inspection team consisted of an inspector and an expert by experience. An expert by experience is a person who has personal experience of using or caring for someone who uses this type of care service.

Service and service type: The Firs is a 'care home'. People in care homes receive accommodation and nursing or personal care as single package under one contractual agreement CQC regulates both the premises and the care provided, and both were looked at during this inspection.

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.

There was a registered manager in post at the time of our visit. 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. The registered manager was also one of the two directors of the provider company. Another of the directors of the provider company worked as a manager at the service. We met with this person during our inspection visit and have referred to them as one of the providers during this report.

Notice of inspection: This inspection was unannounced.

What we did: Before the inspection we reviewed the information we held about the service and the service provider. The registered provider completed a Provider Information Return (PIR). This is information that we request that asks the provider to give some key information about the service, what the service does well and any further developments they plan to make. We looked at the notifications we had received for this service. Notifications are information about important events the service is required to send us by law.

During the inspection, we met six of the people who lived at the service, however due to some people having complex communication styles we were unable to obtain verbal feedback from everybody. We observed how people were being cared for and supported. We also met and spoke with two support staff. We spent time with one of the providers and the referrals co-ordinator during out visit. We also spoke to five of the relatives of people who lived at the service.

We looked at records used by the provider for managing the service. These included support plans and records for people, staff training and support records, records of quality monitoring and audits, information about medicines and we inspected the environment.

Overall inspection


Updated 1 June 2019

About the service: The Firs provides accommodation, care and support for up to nine adults with learning disabilities, including autistic spectrum disorders. At this inspection nine people were living at the service.

The Firs has been developed and designed in line with the values that underpin the Registering the Right Support and other best practice guidance. These values include choice, promotion of independence and inclusion. People with learning disabilities and autism using the service can live as ordinary a life as any citizen.

People’s experience of using this service:

¿ People were supported by staff who had a good understanding of how to recognise and report potential harm or abuse and were confident in local safeguarding procedures.

¿ People received their medication as prescribed and there were sufficient staff on duty to keep people safe and ensure their needs were met.

¿ People were supported by staff who were well trained and skilled.

¿ Staff worked with people to overcome challenges and promote their independence.

¿ People 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.

¿ Staff worked well with external health care professionals and people were supported to access health services when required.

¿ Quality and safety checks by the providers helped ensure people were safe and protected from harm.

¿Audits helped identify areas for improvement with learning from these shared with staff.

Rating at last inspection: The service was rated ‘Good’ at our last inspection on 28 June 2016. The report following that inspection was published on 5 August 2016.

Why we inspected: This was a planned inspection based on the rating at the last inspection.

Follow up: We will continue to monitor intelligence we receive about the service until we return to visit as per our re-inspection programme. If any concerning information is received, we may inspect sooner.