• 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

All Inspections

6 July 2023

During a monthly review of our data

We carried out a review of the data available to us about The Firs on 6 July 2023. We have not found evidence that we need to carry out an inspection or reassess our rating at this stage.

This could change at any time if we receive new information. We will continue to monitor data about this service.

If you have concerns about The Firs, you can give feedback on this service.

27 March 2019

During a routine inspection

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.

28 June 2016

During a routine inspection

This inspection was carried out on 28 June 2016 and was unannounced. At the last inspection on 16 April 2014 the service was found to be meeting all the standards we inspected. At this inspection we found that they were still meeting the standards.

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

The provider was responsible for the day to day running of the service which meant they did not require a registered manager. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the Care Quality Commission (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 received care and support that met their needs while encouraging their independence. Support plans were clear and gave staff specific details on how to ensure people were safe. Risk assessments were in place for all aspects of people’s lives and these helped to ensure that people’s choices were not restricted. People felt safe living at the home and staff knew how to respond to any concerns. Medicines were managed safely.

People were supported by sufficient numbers of staff who had been recruited through a robust process. Staff received training to help ensure they had the appropriate skills for their role and further their development. An updated supervision schedule had just commenced and staff told us they felt supported.

People had a variety of foods available that they enjoyed and also participated in the cooking of their meals. People had access to health and social care professionals as needed.

People were given choice and this was respected. Staff asked for consent before supporting people and DoLS had been applied for appropriately and where people had been deprived of their liberty this was done so lawfully. Where needed, best interest meetings had been held. People were treated with dignity and their privacy was promoted. People had involvement in planning of their care and confidentiality was promoted.

There was a range of activities available to suit individual needs and preferences. People had their own activity plans for the week which included going to college, voluntary work, days out, shopping and household tasks such as laundry.

People knew how to make a complaint, their views were sought and responded to appropriately. There were regular meetings for people who lived at the service and quality assurance surveys sent to people’s relatives.

People were positive about the management of the home. The providers were responsible for the day to day running of the home and were supported by a manager and a team leader.

16 April 2014

During a routine inspection

We spoke with two people who used the service. One person said to us, "I am very happy here, I have no complaints. Everyone is very kind." Another person said, "The staff are very friendly; and this is a beautiful place to live." We observed the care and attention people received from staff. All interactions we saw were appropriate, respectful and friendly and there was a relaxed atmosphere throughout the home.

If you want to see the evidence supporting our summary please read the full report. We considered our inspection findings to answer the five questions we always ask: Is the service safe? Is the service effective? Is the service caring? Is the service responsive? Is the service well led?

Is the service safe?

People were protected by effective staff recruitment systems. Records showed that staff had received Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) training. This meant that staff were provided with the information that they needed to ensure that people were safeguarded.

Is the service effective?

People we spoke with were satisfied with the care and support they received. No one raised any concerns with us. This was consistent with the positive feedback received from people as reported in the provider's own quality assurance survey. All of the staff we spoke with were knowledgeable about individual people's care needs, and this knowledge was consistent with the care plans in place.

Is the service caring?

People were supported by kind and attentive staff. We saw that care workers showed patience and gave encouragement when supporting people. People commented, 'I never feel rushed by the staff that help me, they don't do everything for me and help me to do things for myself'.

Is the service responsive?

We saw that care plans and risk assessments were informative, up to date and regularly reviewed. The registered manager responded in an open, thorough and timely manner to complaints. Therefore people could be assured that complaints were investigated and action was taken as necessary. Staff told us the manager was approachable and they would have no difficulty speaking to them if they had any concerns about the home.

Is the service well led?

Staff said that they felt well supported by the manager, there was a good team ethic and they were able do their jobs safely. The provider had a range of quality monitoring systems in place to ensure that care was being delivered appropriately by staff.

11, 12 April 2013

During a routine inspection

We visited The Firs on 11 April 2013 and spoke with family members the following day as part of our inspection. People told us they were involved in decisions made about their care. One person said, 'It's very alright here. [Staff] help me do what I want, like going for walks and shopping.'

Care plans we looked at showed that people's needs and preferences were thoroughly assessed, documented and reviewed. A relative told us, 'They take really good care of [name], I couldn't ask for better.'

The provider had put suitable arrangements in place to safeguard people against the risk of abuse. Information and guidance was displayed in key areas and had also been produced in an 'easy read' format using appropriate pictures and symbols. Staff we spoke with told us their main priority was to keep people safe.

People were cared for by staff who were supported to deliver appropriate standards of care and support. A relative we spoke with told us, 'I have full confidence in the staff, they are very helpful, competent and well trained.' A member of staff told us, 'The recruitment process, training and induction are focused on our ability to deliver person centred care.'

The provider had an effective system in place for recording and dealing with complaints. An 'easy read' guide using pictures had been produced to help people understand how to make a complaint and the methods used to resolve it.