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The Care Quality Commission checks whether hospitals, care homes and care services are meeting government standards. Visit our website at www.cqc.org.uk.

Whorlton Hall

  • Whorlton Village, Barnard Castle, County Durham, DL12 8XQ

Type of service
Mental health, learning disability or substance misuse hospital service

Specialisms/services
Accommodation for persons who require nursing or personal care, Assessment or medical treatment for persons detained under the Mental Health Act 1983, Diagnostic and/or screening services, Learning disabilities, Mental health conditions, Treatment of disease, disorder or injury, Caring for adults under 65 yrs, Caring for people whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act

Local Authority Area
Durham

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People should be treated with respect, involved in discussions about their care and treatment and able to influence how the service is run (outcome 1)

Meeting this standard

Our latest report on this standard published on 11 October 2012

We inspected on 18 and 20 September 2012 during a routine inspection

We checked that people who use this service:

  • Understand the care, treatment and support choices available to them.
  • Can express their views, so far as they are able to do so, and are involved in making decisions about their care, treatment and support.
  • Have their privacy, dignity and independence respected.
  • Have their views and experiences taken into account in the way the service is provided and delivered.

How this check was done

We looked at the personal care or treatment records of people who use the service, carried out a visit on 18 September 2012 and 20 September 2012, observed how people were being cared for and talked with people who use the service. We talked with staff.

Our judgement

The provider was meeting this standard. People’s privacy, dignity and independence was respected. People’s views and experiences were taken into account in the way the service was provided in relation to their care.

Reasons for our judgement

People who used the service were given appropriate information and were involved in making decisions about their care and treatment. They were treated with dignity and supported to make choices and remain independent.

People told us they had been given a brochure about Whorlton Hall. People also told us when they were admitted to the hospital the manager and their social worker explained to them what was happening and what to expect from the service. In these ways people were provided with information about the service.

During our inspection we saw people could choose what they wanted to eat and where they wanted to spend their time. We looked at people’s plans of care and we could see these had started to be written in an individual way. They included information on how to care for peoples’ individual needs but also included details about their preferences and interests.

Before our visit we spoke to a person who worked for Durham Local Authority. She told us she had been regularly visiting the service to provide staff with training about dignity. She told us the staff were enthusiastic about this training. She said the service had identified someone to become a dignity champion. A dignity champion was someone who cared passionately about peoples’ right to be treated with dignity. It was their responsibility to make changes to improve care practise. They did this by raising people’s awareness of how this could be achieved. We saw a dignity tree on a wall in the building. Staff told us they encouraged the service users to think about what dignity meant to them and to write their thoughts and ideas on the dignity tree. Staff also explained to us how they were developing dignity training for people who used the service so they understood what this meant and how they should be treated.

We watched how the staff supported the people in their care. We saw people were treated with dignity and respect. For example, we heard staff address people respectfully, speaking quietly about private matters. People told us "The staff treat us well.” One person explained how the staff were supporting them to learn to travel independently. Another person told us staff were helping them to develop their cooking skills in preparation for moving back into the community.

All of these measures demonstrated the provider’s commitment to promoting people’s right to be treated with dignity, supporting people to make choices and to remain independent.

One person we spoke with told us they had an advocate. They described to us how their advocate was supporting them to attend a medical appointment. The person in charge told us the provider had arranged for an independent advocacy service called VoiceAbility to represent the views of people using the service. People also told us there were regular service user meetings where they had the opportunity of discussing things like menus and activities. One person showed us their behaviour plan which they explained really worked for them. They told us how they had been fully involved in writing this. People also told us they were also always included in their individual review meetings about their care.

We saw there was a service user forum, called The People’s Parliament. This was used to make sure that people who used services were involved in their care, treatment and development of services. In these ways people were supported to make decisions about their care and welfare.

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