‘Robust action plan’ put in place after Walberton care home told to improve

The residential care home in Walberton. Photo: Google Images
The residential care home in Walberton. Photo: Google Images

A residential care home for people with learning disabilities or autism in Walberton has put a ‘robust action plan in place’ after being told to improve by inspectors.

Walberton (South Coast), in Freeman Close, Eastergate Lane, which provides accommodation and personal care for people living with complex needs, a learning disability or autism, was visited by the Care Quality Commission on Tuesday, February 19.

The service was judged to be good in three key areas – being safe, caring and responsive.

However it was considered to require improvement in two other areas – being effective and well-led.

At the time of the unannounced inspection, 31 people were living at the service which inspectors noted was ‘larger than current best practice’ – however they said the impact was lessened by people living across four houses on the site.

The report found that people’s independence was promoted and they had access to a range of activities that supported their interests.

They were supported to develop and maintain friendships, and were treated with ‘kindness and respect’, according to the report.

One relative told inspectors: “He is safe at Walberton, the staff are there for him. I know he feels safe as he is happy living there.”

While the report found that people were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives, inspectors said it was unclear if staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible, as best interest decision meetings did not always occur and outcomes were not always documented.

The registered managers and staff did not always have a good understanding of the Mental Capacity Act (2005) or Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, the report found.

A previous inspection of the service in November 2017 also found it to require improvement.

Walberton (South Coast) is run by Hft, a charity which supports people with learning disabilities. It also runs three other services in Sussex.

Sarah Shallis, Hft’s operations manager for Sussex, said: “We are pleased that the inspection made many positive observations and recognised the many improvements we have made to date.

“However we are extremely disappointed to have been given an overall rating of ‘Requires Improvement’.

“We take this rating very seriously; a robust action plan has been put in place and immediate action undertaken to address the concerns raised.

“This has included making improvements to monitoring processes around the gathering and utilisation of feedback, and providing ongoing training and coaching to improve knowledge and practice on areas such as the Mental Capacity Act, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and best interest decisions.

“Providing a consistent and high quality service for the people we support remains our top priority.

“This is evident from the CQC inspections of our three other services in the neighbouring area which have all been awarded ‘Good’ ratings.

“Our focus moving forward will be making the improvements required as a matter of urgency to ensure we reach the same high standards of delivery at Walberton that we expect from all our services.”

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