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Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 4 January 2019

This inspection took place on 24 October 2018 and was unannounced. A second day of inspection took place on 29 October 2018 which was announced. We also spoke to relatives on 6 November 2018.

14 Thornhill is a ‘care home’ located in the Ashbrooke area of Sunderland. People in care homes receive accommodation and nursing or personal care as single package under one contractual agreement. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates both the premises and the care provided, and both were looked at during this inspection. 14 Thornhill provides care for up to six people who have autistic spectrum conditions. The service does not provide nursing care.

14 Thornhill has been developed and designed in line with the values that underpin Registering the Right Support and other best practice guidance. These values include choice, promotion of independence and inclusion. People with learning disabilities and autism using the service can live as ordinary a life as any citizen.

At our last inspection we rated the service good. At this inspection we found the evidence continued to support the rating of good and there was no evidence or information from our inspection and ongoing monitoring that demonstrated serious risks or concerns. This inspection report is written in a shorter format because our overall rating of the service has not changed since our last inspection.

At this inspection we found the service remained Good.

Some issues were found in relation to management of over the counter medications, food hygiene practices, storage of hazardous household materials and safety of windows in the premises. The registered manager took immediate action to address these issues throughout the inspection.

Relatives we spoke with told us they felt their family members were safe living at the service and staff knew their family members very well. They also told us that staff knew about autism and said this was paramount to caring for people with autism.

Safeguarding issues were logged and reported and staff we spoke with were confident in their understanding of safeguarding and were able to tell us how they would action any safeguarding concerns.

Staff were subject to a robust recruitment process, including pre-employment checks. Newly recruited staff had a period of induction which included shadowing existing members of staff.

People were supported and encouraged to eat a healthy and balanced diet. People were involved in the creation of their weekly menus, buying the ingredients and preparing, (where possible,) their own meals.

People had access to a variety of healthcare professionals, including GPs, dieticians and consultants. Relatives we spoke with confirmed their family members attended regular check-ups and annual healthcare appointments.

Staff were seen to treat people with great care and kindness and relatives we spoke with confirmed this also.

Prior to admission to the service, a detailed pre-assessment was carried out to ensure that the service could meet the needs of that person. Care plans contained lots of detailed information about how staff should care for that person, including their likes and dislikes, what made them happy or sad and what kind of activities they enjoyed and chose to do. Staff were able to tell us how they would ensure that people’s dignity was maintained during personal care and every-day tasks and this was evidenced during the inspection.

Care plans seen included ‘goals’ that people were working towards. These goals included, enhancing people’s social skills, building upon their personal confidence and expanding people’s life skills.

People had access to a range of activities which included attendance at college and farm as well as a local friendship group.

Relatives and healthcare professionals confirmed that the service was well-managed. The registered manager is supported in their role by an area manager who visited the service regularly.

Staff told us they felt supported and valued in their

Inspection areas


Requires improvement

Updated 4 January 2019

The service has deteriorated to requires improvement.



Updated 4 January 2019

The service remained effective.



Updated 4 January 2019

The service remained caring.



Updated 4 January 2019

The service remained responsive.



Updated 4 January 2019

The service has improved to good.