Friendly, relaxed and respectful are just some of the words used to describe a service that helps people to live independently.
Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited the Supported Living service in September this year and judged it to be ‘Good’ in all five categories: safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. Their overall judgement was that the service was ‘Good’.
Supported Living is run by local authority trading company, Bolton Cares, and provides personal care and support to people with learning and physical disabilities, and mental health related illnesses. People who use the service live in shared tenanted accommodation within the borough and staff assist them to live independently.
Inspectors visited supported living houses and spoke to people who use the service, their relatives, and to care staff and managers. While observing, they noticed that interactions between staff and people who lived in the houses were ‘friendly, relaxed and respectful’. People were included in decisions about their care and everyone respected each other’s privacy.
All the people interviewed said they felt safe, and appropriate safeguarding training had been undertaken by all staff.
On further inspection, the CQC found that training in mandatory areas and refresher courses was up to date.
People found the staff to be skilled and ‘able to care for them well’. One relative said: “There is a good rapport between tenants and staff, relatives and staff.”
The inspection found that the service responded well to people’s needs, which was demonstrated by fulfilling one person’s wishes to only have female support staff.
Another had received support to stop smoking and, as a result was ‘very proud of their achievement’.
There was a wide range of activities available, including social clubs, swimming, trampolining, meals out and cinema trips.
One person said of her relative: “She is always clean and well-presented and the staff bend over backwards to find the things she likes.”
Staff, service users and relatives alike found the management were approachable and supportive, with one relative saying they would give them “10 out of 10”.
Leader of Bolton Council, and chairman of the Bolton Cares steering committee, Cllr Cliff Morris, said: “This is another glowing report for an important service provided by Bolton Cares. Supported Living enables people with very specific health needs to live independently in the community and with the correct support. This inspection is a great achievement.”
Chief Executive of Bolton Cares, John Livesey, said: “The Bolton Cares company ethos is ‘warm, friendly, caring’ and I think this inspection has managed to show that this is true of our Supported Living service. Staff are dedicated and work hard to enable people to live as independently as possible, so it’s just reward that they have received such a positive inspection.”