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.