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Archived: Fonthill House Outstanding

The provider of this service changed - see new profile

Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 22 June 2016

Fonthill House is a purpose built nursing and residential care home. The home is located in a new build housing development in St. Albans. It has the capacity to accommodate up to 64 elderly or frail people and provides nursing care and palliative care. The environment throughout was of a high standard with attention to detail such as an extensive range of books for people to borrow and large mounted photographs throughout the home that had been selected from places and events that held familiar and happy memories for people who lived at Fonthill House.

There were 57 people living at the service on the day of our inspection. There was a registered manager in post. They were 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. The registered manager at Fonthill House was also the provider (owner).

When we last inspected the service on 12 August 2014 we found them to be meeting the required standards. At this inspection we found that they had continued to meet the standards.

People told us they felt safe and secure living at Fonthill House. Staff were knowledgeable in recognising signs of potential abuse and knew how to report concerns both within the organisation and externally if required. Assessments were undertaken to identify any risks to people who received a service and to the staff who supported them. There were plenty of staff available to meet people’s individual support and care needs at all times, including during the night and at weekends. People received appropriate support from staff to enable them to take their medicines.

People received care and support that was based on their individual needs and preferences. There was a ‘people first’ culture within the home and people were central to everything the manager put in place. People’s care and support plans were reviewed regularly in consultation with the person and, where appropriate, family members to ensure the service continued to meet their changing needs. People and their relatives felt confident to raise any concerns and told us they were confident any concerns would be resolved without delay. People received their care and support from a staff team that were both competent and extremely knowledgeable with regard to people’s health and care needs and demonstrated that they were skilled and experienced to meet them. People who used the service were treated with dignity and respect, and their privacy and confidentiality was maintained.

People were offered a range of innovative and diverse activities and were supported to pursue hobbies and pastimes that were of interest to them, and that were suited to their varying abilities.

Safe and robust recruitment practices were followed to make sure that all staff were of good character, and were suitable to work in a care home environment as well as being fit for the roles they were being employed to carry out. Staff records confirmed checks had been made which ensured they were safe to work with vulnerable adults before a position was offered to them. They also told us that they had been encouraged to spend time with people who lived at the home as part of the recruitment process.

Staff were well supported by the registered manager and received an induction when they started working at the home. They received on-going training and support to enable them to perform their roles effectively. Staff had regular individual supervision meetings, team meeting and had an annual appraisal to review their development and performance.

People’s views about the service were gathered using several methods, including a comments and suggestions box, a comments book, survey and verbal feedback.

Feedback was used in a positive way to improve the quality of the overall service. People

Inspection areas



Updated 22 June 2016

The service people received was safe

People were kept safe by staff who were very aware of people�s safety and highly trained and knowledgeable about safeguarding people from potential abuse or harm.

People were supported to manage risks to enable them to live independent and fulfilled lives.

Safe recruitment practices were followed to ensure that potential staff were suitable to work in a care environment and there were sufficient qualified and skilled staff to meet people`s needs at all times.

People were supported to take their medicines safely by staff who were trained in safe handling of medicines and an electronic medicines administration recording system was in place to reduce risks.



Updated 22 June 2016

The service was effective.

People received care and support from staff who were very well trained, had their competency checked and who were supported to perform their roles.

Staff were well supported by the clinical manager and registered manager. They used reflective practice and case studies to improve effectiveness and work in a way that supported and encouraged good practice and consistency.

People were asked for their consent prior to staff providing any care or support and were involved in making decisions about their care and treatment and were given multiple choices and options.

People were supported to have a healthy balanced diet, which was restaurant standard with a full and varied menu.

People were supported to maintain their health and well- being. People had access to a range of healthcare professionals within the service and externally when required.



Updated 22 June 2016

The service was caring.

People were treated with kindness, dignity and respect and spoke of the �love� that was evident within the home.

People and their relatives were involved in their care planning, regular reviews and an innovative approach to personalised care and support.

Staff demonstrated a good understanding of people�s needs and wishes and people�s dignity and privacy was respected and promoted.

People told us the staff were kind and caring and they were overwhelmed with the compassion staff displayed to them.



Updated 22 June 2016

The service was responsive.

People achieved a level of independence over and above what they thought was possible through innovative and creative care and support.

People`s care and support plans were regularly reviewed and contained up to date information, which was personalised and current.

People were encouraged and supported to pursue a wide range of hobbies and interests. The service had established excellent links with the local community and people went on regular trips and events.

People`s views were actively sought and any issues addressed in a timely way. People knew how to complain if they needed to.



Updated 22 June 2016

The service was well led by a registered manager who led by example and who listened and valued people.

People all consistently spoke positively about all the staff and management team who they said exceeded their expectations regularly.

The registered manager demonstrated they were forward thinking and resourceful in achieving outstanding outcomes for people. Staff were aware of and shared the manager�s aspirations.

The manager had processes in place to monitor, and manage the quality of the service and to develop practice in line with nationally recognised best practice.

The service was open, inclusive and empowering and the quality of care was excellent.