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Archived: Ashbrook House Good

The provider of this service changed - see new profile


Inspection carried out on 20 July 2015

During a routine inspection

This inspection took place on 20 July 2015 and was unannounced.

Ashbrook House provides care and support for up to six people with autistic spectrum disorder who have a learning disability. The service does not provide nursing care. There were six people using the service when we visited.

The service had 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 about how the service is run.

Staff were trained in how to protect people from abuse and harm. They knew how to recognise signs of abuse and how to use the whistleblowing procedure. We found that whistleblowing had happened in practice at the service and had been dealt with appropriately.

Risk assessments were centred on the needs of the individual and included risks posed when people were out in the community. Staff followed clear guidance to reduce identified risks and protect people from harm.

Staffing arrangements meant that people received one to one care to meet their specific needs.

There were safe recruitment procedures in place. All staff were subject to a probation period and to disciplinary procedures if they did not meet the required standards of practice.

Medicines were stored, administered and recorded safely and correctly. Staff were trained in the safe administration of medicines and maintained relevant records that were accurate.

All of the staff received regular training in mandatory subjects. Specialist training was specific to the needs of people using the service. This provided staff with the knowledge and skills to meet people’s needs in an effective and individualised way.

People’s consent to care and treatment was sought in line with current legislation. All staff and management were trained in the principles of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and were knowledgeable about the requirements of the legislation.

A flexible approach to mealtimes was used to ensure people could access suitable amounts of food and drink that met their individual preferences.

Staff supported people to attend healthcare appointments and liaised with their GP and other healthcare professionals as required.

Staff communicated effectively with people, responded to their needs promptly and treated them with kindness and compassion.

Throughout our visit we saw examples of creative care that helped make the service a place where people felt included and consulted.

People were able to spend private time in quiet areas when they chose to. People’s privacy and dignity were respected and maintained at all times.

People’s needs were comprehensively assessed and care plans gave clear guidance on how people were to be supported. Care was personalised so that each person’s support reflected their preferences.

People were at the heart of the service. People were supported to attend a range of educational and occupational activities as well as being able to develop their own independent living skills. Staff supported people to undertake a choice of leisure activities within the home and in the community. The service provided its own day care service and people had been involved in its development.

The service had an effective complaints procedure in place. Staff were responsive to people’s worries, anxieties and concerns and acted promptly to resolve them.

The service was well led with systems to check that the care of people was effective, the staffing levels sufficient, and staff appropriately trained so they had the skills to provide safe care and support.

The staff were highly committed and found innovative ways to provide people with positive care experiences.

Effective quality assurance systems were in place to obtain feedback, monitor performance and manage risks.

Inspection carried out on 11 July 2014

During a routine inspection

During this inspection, we gathered evidence against the outcomes we inspected to help answer our five key questions; Is the service safe? Is the service effective? Is the service caring? Is the service responsive? Is the service well led?

Below is a summary of what we found. The detailed evidence supporting our summary can be read in our full report.

Is the service safe?

We saw there were sufficient numbers of experienced and competent staff on duty to safely meet people's personal and healthcare needs. We found that risk assessments identified individual risks to people's health, safety or welfare and were acted upon. We found that the home had been kept appropriately maintained. We also saw that people were cared for in a homely environment that was kept clean and hygienic. This meant that people were supported and cared for in a safe environment by staff who knew their job.

Is the service effective?

The two staff we spoke with had good knowledge of the needs of the people they supported at Ashbrook House. They were able to demonstrate through discussion how they met people�s needs. We also saw that people�s care plans were person centred and contained up-to-date information that enabled staff to support people make informed choices about their care. We saw that people's care plans and risk assessments were regularly reviewed and updated as and when their needs changed. This meant that because staff had access to accurate information they had a good knowledge of each person�s care needs and were able to provide effective care.

We also found there were arrangements in place to monitor the quality of the service provided, both on a day-to-day basis, and longer term. This meant that people were assured of receiving a consistent standard of care.

Is the service caring?

We saw that staff treated people with kindness and ensured their dignity and right to privacy was respected. The two staff we met with interacted well with the people we saw in residence. We observed there was a good rapport between the staff and the people they supported. The two people who were present when we inspected were relaxed in the presence of staff.

Is the service responsive?

We saw that people's health was closely monitored and appropriate action was taken in seeking the advice, guidance, and appropriate attention of health and social care professionals. The nature of people�s disabilities included, for example, autistic spectrum disorder, as well as compromised verbal communication skills. All the people in residence benefited from a structured day and we saw that staff communicated with people in a variety of ways, including using choice boards and other visual tools to ensure that people had a say in what they wanted to do.

Is the service well-led?

We saw that the manager was very approachable and the two staff we spoke with said they consistently received the managerial support they needed to do their jobs effectively.