• Care Home
  • Care home

1 & 2 Flax Cottages

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

1 & 2 Flax Cottages, Fernlea Drive, Scotland Gate, Choppington, Northumberland, NE62 5SR (01670) 530247

Provided and run by:
Lifeways Community Care Limited

Important: This service was previously managed by a different provider - see old profile

Latest inspection summary

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Background to this inspection

Updated 10 March 2020

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. We checked whether the provider was meeting the legal requirements and regulations associated with the Act. We looked at the overall quality of the service and provided a rating for the service under the Care Act 2014.

Inspection team

The inspection was carried out by one inspector.

Service and service type

1 & 2 Flax Cottages is a 'care home'. People in care homes receive accommodation and nursing or personal care as a 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 had a manager who was registered with CQC. A registered manager and the provider are legally responsible for how the service is run and for the quality and safety of the care provided.

Notice of inspection

We gave a short period of notice of the inspection since the home was small and people were often out with staff in the local community.

What we did before the inspection

We reviewed information we had received about the service since the last inspection. We sought feedback from the local authority and professionals who work with the service. We also contacted Healthwatch. Healthwatch is an independent consumer champion that gathers and represents the views of the public about health and social care services in England.

We used the information the provider sent us in the provider information return. This is information providers are required to send us with key information about their service, what they do well, and improvements they plan to make. This information helps support our inspections. We used all of this information to plan our inspection.

During the inspection

We spent time with all six people who lived at the home. Due to the nature of their condition, most people were unable to communicate with us verbally. We spoke with one person, the registered manager, team leader and four support workers.

We reviewed a range of records. This included two people’s care records and medicines records. We looked at one staff file in relation to recruitment. We reviewed a variety of records relating to the management of the service.

After the inspection

We continued to seek clarification from the registered manager to validate the evidence we found. We looked at training data and contacted two relatives by telephone. We also contacted five health and social care professionals by email to ask for their feedback about the home.

Overall inspection


Updated 10 March 2020

About the service

1 & 2 Flax Cottages is a care home for people with a learning disability. There were six people living at the home at the time of the 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. People using the service receive planned and co-ordinated person-centred support that is appropriate and inclusive for them.

The service consisted of two bungalows. It was registered to provide accommodation, care and support for up to nine people. This is larger than current best practice guidance. However, the size of the service having a negative impact on people, was mitigated by the building design which fitted in well within the residential area where it was located. In addition, staff did not wear anything that suggested they were care staff when coming and going with people.

People’s experience of using this service and what we found

There were systems in place to protect people from the risk of abuse. People appeared relaxed and comfortable with staff. There were enough staff deployed to meet people’s needs. Safe recruitment procedures were followed.

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. The registered manager was strengthening their documentation relating to mental capacity assessments and best interests’ decisions to ensure all areas of the process were evidenced.

People had a choice and access to sufficient food and drink. People were supported to have access to a range of healthcare professionals to help ensure they remained healthy.

People were treated with kindness. One health and social care professional stated, “They are very caring and prompt to react to any changes in the clients’ care.” Staff respected people’s privacy and dignity and promoted their independence.

People's care was developed around their wishes, preferences and goals. People’s social needs were met. More joint activities and events were going to be planned with people from the provider’s other care home which was situated next door.

A range of audits and checks were carried out to monitor the quality and safety of the service.

The service applied the principles and values of Registering the Right Support and other best practice guidance. These ensure that people who use the service can live as full a life as possible and achieve the best possible outcomes that include control, choice and independence.

The outcomes for people using the service reflected the principles and values of Registering the Right Support by promoting choice and control, independence and inclusion. People's support focused on them having as many opportunities as possible for them to gain new skills and become more independent.

For more details, please see the full report which is on the CQC website at www.cqc.org.uk

Rating at last inspection

The last rating for this service was good (published 8 September 2017).

Why we inspected

This was a planned inspection based on our inspection programme.

Follow up

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