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Cow Lees Care Home Requires improvement

The provider of this service changed - see old profile


Inspection carried out on 13 January 2020

During a routine inspection

About the service

Cow Lees Care Home is a care home providing personal and nursing care and accommodation for up to 73 adults living with dementia or mental health needs. The care home is made up of three sperate units. These include Cow Lees, a converted two-storey building with 18 bedrooms and communal facilities. Astley House, a purpose built two-storey building with 24 bedrooms. Sole End, a purpose-built three-story building, which specialises in supporting people with complex behaviours and early onset dementia. At the time of our inspection visit there were 69 people receiving care.

People’s experience of using this service

There were checks in place to ensure good standards of care were maintained, however improvements were required to ensure all checks were effective because they had not identified concerns we found during our inspection visit, including some environmental risks.

The registered manager worked in partnership with outside agencies to improve the service. Staff felt supported and valued by senior staff.

People felt safe using the service. Staff managed the risks to people’s health, safety and well-being and understood how to recognise and report abuse. Staff recruitment processes included background checks to review their suitability to work with vulnerable adults.

People received support from staff when needed. People were supported to have enough to eat and drink to maintain their well-being. They were supported with their medicines and to obtain advice from healthcare professionals when required.

Staff received training and guidance on how to support people, however, some gaps were identified in key areas.

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.

People were treated with dignity and their independence was promoted wherever possible. People were encouraged to take part in activities which interested them and which improved their wellbeing.

People and their relatives were involved in planning care in their best interests. People and their families understood how to complain if they wanted to.

Rating at last inspection and update

The last inspection was a comprehensive inspection. The service was rated Good in all areas (report published 14 July 2017). We have used the previous rating to inform our planning and decisions about the rating at this inspection.

Why we inspected

This was a planned inspection based on the previous rating.

Follow up

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

For more details, please see the full report which is on the CQC website at

Inspection carried out on 6 June 2017

During a routine inspection

Cow Lees Care Home provides accommodation and nursing care for up to 72 younger and older people. People at the home are living with dementia or mental health care needs. At the time of our inspection there were 72 people living in the home, which provides permanent and short term care. At the last inspection, in April 2015, the service was rated Good. At this inspection we found that the service remained Good.

People continued to receive care in ways which helped them to remain as safe as possible. People were protected from the risk of harm by staff who understood the risks to people’s safety. There was enough staff to provide support to people to meet their needs and people received their prescribed medicines safely.

The care people received continued to be effective. Staff received training linked to the needs of people who lived at the home. People were encouraged to make their own decisions and choices and staff checked people wanted care before helping them. Support was available to people if they needed help making key decisions about their life. People enjoyed their mealtime experiences and were supported to access to health care services so they would stay well.

People had built caring relationships with the staff who spoke warmly about the people they cared for. Staff knew what was important to people and encouraged them to maintain their independence. People were treated with dignity and respect.

People and their relatives’ and staffs' views and suggestions were listened to when people’s care was planned. Systems were in place to manage complaints. Relatives we spoke with knew how to raise any complaints or concerns, and staff knew how to support people and their relatives to do this.

People, their relatives and staff were positive about the way the home was managed, and told us communication with the registered manager and senior team was good. The registered manager worked with people, their relatives and other organisations in an open way so people would enjoy the best well-being possible. Regular checks were in place to assess and monitor the quality of the service.

Inspection carried out on 29 April 2015

During a routine inspection

This inspection took place on 29 April 2015 and was unannounced.

Cow Lees care home provides nursing care and support to older and younger people who have dementia or a mental health diagnosis. The home comprises of two buildings; Cow Lees which provides accommodation to a maximum of 18 people, and Astley House which provides accommodation to a maximum of 24 people. At the time of our visit there were no vacancies.

The home has a registered manager. 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 2014 about how the service is run.

The home had good staffing levels. Staff had the skills, knowledge and experience to work well with people who lived at the home. This was due to the thorough induction and ongoing training provided to staff to ensure they understood how to work effectively with people who had dementia and behaviours which challenged others.

Staff understood safeguarding policies and procedures, and followed people’s individual risk assessments to ensure they minimised any identified risks to people’s health and social care. Checks were carried out prior to staff starting work at Cow Lees to ensure their suitability to work with people in the home.

Medicines were managed well to ensure people received their prescribed medicines at the right time. Systems were in place to ensure medicines were ordered on time and stored safely in the home.

Staff respected and acted upon people’s decisions. Where people did not have capacity to make informed decisions, ‘best interest’ decisions were taken on the person’s behalf. This meant the service was adhering to the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

The provider was meeting the requirements of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and had followed the advice of the local authority DoLS team. The provider had referred some people to the local authority for an assessment when they thought the person’s freedom was restricted.

People were provided with sufficient to eat and drink and people’s individual nutrition needs were well supported. People enjoyed the food provided. Where changes in people’s health were identified, they were referred promptly to other healthcare professionals.

People and visitors to the home were positive about the caring attitude of the staff. During our visit we observed staff being caring to people. We also saw staff and people enjoying each other’s company and having fun with each other. Staff understood the importance of promoting people’s dignity and encouraging independence.

People participated in a well-planned activity programme both within and outside the home. People were supported with undertaking individual interests.

People who lived at Cow Lees, their relatives, and staff, felt able to speak with management and share their views about the service. Complaints were responded to appropriately.

The management team were supportive to staff and worked with them to provide good standards of dementia care. There were effective management systems to monitor and improve the quality of service provided.

Inspection carried out on 10 December 2013

During a routine inspection

There were 42 people using the service on the day of our inspection visit. We spoke with four people, seven members of staff, the visiting general practitioner (GP) as well as the registered manager and deputy manager. We also looked at some of the records kept to support staff in providing the correct care to people who use the service.

Due to their health conditions or complex needs, not all people were able to share their views about the care that they received. We therefore spent a period of time observing how people were being cared for within the home.

We found that the home had an open, friendly and lively atmosphere. Our observations throughout the inspection demonstrated that staff engaged in a positive way with people. We saw when people needed assistance staff were on hand to help them.

We found the service had a system of individual care planning in place which was regularly reviewed for each person.

We looked around the home and observed a good overall standard of cleanliness. We saw people�s rooms and communal areas were clean and tidy.

Sufficient staff were available with appropriate experience and skills to meet the needs of people who used the service.

Staff we spoke with felt confident the care provided to people living at the home was good. They told us they received excellent support from the management team. A staff member told us, �We can go to the manager or deputy for help and assistance at any time.�