residential care home for learning disabilities

Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England. The CQC monitors, inspects and regulates hospitals, care homes, GP surgeries and other care services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and publishes what it finds, including performance ratings to help people choose care.

Below are some extracts from the findings of their inspection of Aaron House, unannounced, in April 2018. You can view the full report here.

Is our service caring?

“We observed people being treated with kindness, respect and compassion. One person said, "The staff are very kind. They care for me very much." Another person said "They (staff) are like family to me." A relative said, "The staff are fantastic. They really care." Throughout our inspection, we observed and heard a lot of kind interactions between people and staff. Staff spoke to people in a compassionate and respectful manner. People were relaxed in the presence of staff and approached them to ask for advice or enquire about the day's activities."
“Staff knew people well. They were knowledgeable about people's individual social and communication needs. They gave people the time to express their feeling and views. Staff treated people with kindness, dignity and respect at all times. Staff told us how they respected people's privacy when supporting them with their personal hygiene needs. They gave people the choice to have support if they required it. When people became anxious, staff provided them with reassurance and support in a dignified manner. They were able to predict people's emotions and behaviours due to our presence in their home and support them appropriately. People's care records included an assessment of their needs in relation to equality and diversity and dignity.”
“Relatives and friends were welcomed and seen as integral to helping people maintain their wellbeing. Relatives told us they always felt welcomed by staff and there were never any restrictions on visiting.”

Is our service effective?

“People were supported and encouraged to consent to their care and treatment. People's care plans stated that staff should continually support them to make decisions about their care and daily activities. It was evident from our time with people and staff that staff respected people's decision about their care. For example, we heard staff discussing with people about what they would like to do and how they would like to spend their time.”
“People's nutritional risks were monitored and concerns discussed with their GP. All of the people we spoke with told us they had a choice in what they ate and that they enjoyed the food provided.”
“People were supported and encouraged to consent to their care and treatment. It was evident from our time with people and staff that staff respected people's decision about their care. For example, we heard staff discussing with people what they would like to do and how they would like to spend their time.”

Is our service safe?

“People told us they felt safe living at Aaron House. One person said "The staff are lovely. I feel safe here." Relatives we spoke with told us they felt people were safe at the home.”
“Staff kept the environment safe. For example, there were arrangements in place to reduce the risk of fire and legionella infection. Staff ensured the risk of the spread of infection was reduced. For example, soiled laundry was managed separately and colour coded cleaning equipment was used. Staff had access to protective personal equipment such as disposal gloves and aprons to reduce the risk of spread of infection. People lived in a clean home. Regular checks were carried out to ensure the building and equipment associated with people's care were maintained and serviced.
“People's medicines were managed safely. Staff received training in how to administer medicines and their competency in this task is checked annually. Medicine records were well maintained and showed that people received their medicines as prescribed.”

Are we responsive?

“People were supported by a service which was responsive to their needs. The support provided by staff was person centred and focused on people's individual care and support requirements. One person said, "I am well looked after and involved in planning my care". People's care records showed they had been involved in developing, reviewing and making decisions about their care. Relatives we spoke with told us they had been involved in planning the care of their loved ones and were kept informed of any changes to people's care”
“Support plans were detailed and outlined people's needs and how staff should support these. Information about people's life histories, their likes, dislikes, preferences, wishes and thoughts for the future were included when planning a person's care. The plans were reviewed and updated on a regular basis, but also, when people's needs and abilities altered. The care staff also kept daily records of the care people received.”
“People had the opportunities to participate in a range of activities both in the home and in the community. They had been supported to maintain hobbies and interests and were actively encouraged and involved in local events and clubs. At the time of inspection people were enjoying horse riding, activities at a ski centre, swimming and holidays.”

Is our care home well led?

“Comments about the registered manager were positive. One person said "The manager is very friendly. I can always talk to her about anything." Another person said "If I have any problems, I talk to the manager and things are put right quickly." The relatives we spoke with told us the registered manager listened to them and worked hard to ensure people had a good quality of life. Staff described the registered manager as 'hands on' and told us the registered manager would regularly support them in their role. Staff told us the registered manager offered excellent leadership and this had resulted in high morale amongst the staff.”
“The culture of the service was one which was open, inclusive and empowering. This was evident from the approach of the staff throughout the inspection who at all times put people at the heart of everything they did. The registered manager told us how all staff endeavoured to provide a person centred service to people. The staff we spoke with described the service as being the 'home' of the people living there and the need for staff to be respectful of this at all times.”
“There were clear processes in place to ensure staff were aware of their responsibilities. Staff meetings were held to communicate important information and to seek their ideas and feedback. The provider had a disciplinary procedure to address poor practice.”