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Natural Ability

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

West Orchard House, Allendale Road, Hexham, NE46 2DE

Provided and run by:
Natural Ability

Important: This service was previously registered at a different address - see old profile

Latest inspection summary

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Background to this inspection

Updated 27 November 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. 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

This inspection was carried out by one inspector.

Service and service type

This service provides care and support to people living in ‘supported living’ houses, so that they can live as independently as possible. CQC does not regulate premises used for supported living; this inspection looked at people’s personal care and support.

The service had a manager who had applied to be registered with the Care Quality Commission. Registered managers and providers are legally responsible for how the service is run and for the quality and safety of the care provided.

Notice of inspection

We gave the service 48 hours’ notice of the inspection. This was because the service is small and people are often out and we wanted to be sure there would be people at home to speak with us.

What we did before the inspection

We reviewed information we had received about the service since the last inspection. 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 spoke with the local authority commissioning and safeguarding teams. We used all of this information to plan our inspection.

During the inspection

We spoke with two people who used the service and contacted two other people by email for their views. We contacted seven relatives about their experience of the care provided. We spoke with five members of staff including the manager, service manager, care workers and nominated individual. We contacted 19 staff by email, including support and senior support workers, for their views.

We reviewed a range of records. This included two people’s care records and medication records. We looked at two staff files in relation to recruitment and staff supervision. A variety of records relating to the management of the service were reviewed.

Overall inspection


Updated 27 November 2019

About the service

Natural Ability is a supported living service. It provides personal care to people who live in their own homes. At the time of the inspection there were nine people using the service.

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.

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

People and relatives said this was an exceptional service that really had the best interests of people at its heart. They described the support people received service as “life enhancing” and “outstanding”. The exemplary values of the service promoted people’s independence and meant they lived meaningful, fulfilled lives. The service ethos was to help people with a learning disability to learn skills and be included as valued members of the community.

People received a tailor-made, personalised service from friendly, supportive staff. People said they really liked the staff and enjoyed being with them. Staff knew people’s needs and preferences very well. Relatives said the staff were “very caring” and made sure people had enjoyable experiences and a happy social life.

People were encouraged to make their own decisions and staff understood how people communicated their choices. Staff made sure that people were treated with dignity and respect and in a way that was free from discrimination.

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.

People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff assisted them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests; the policies and systems in the service supported this practice.

Staff received the relevant training and support to assist people in the right way with their individual lifestyles.

Staff praised the culture of the management and staff team. They were all committed to providing high quality, person-centred support for people to be able to live purposeful lives.

There had been significant improvements in the way the service was managed. The provider had addressed the previous shortfalls in managing safeguarding incidents and the overall governance of the service.

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

Rating at last inspection (and update)

The last rating for this service was requires improvement (published 31 August 2018) and there were two breaches of regulation. The provider completed an action plan after the last inspection to show what they would do and by when to improve. At this inspection we found improvements had been made and the provider was no longer in breach of regulations.

Why we inspected

This was a planned inspection based on the previous rating.

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.