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Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 27 July 2019

Willow Health is a bungalow which has been adapted and provides accommodation for people in single bedrooms. It is a ‘care home’ and is located in a residential area within the town of Colchester. 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.

Willow Health is registered to support up to seven people who have a learning disability, an autistic spectrum disorder and /or a physical disability. There were six people living in the service on the day of our inspection.

People’s experience of using this service and what we found

Risks to people were identified and guidance provided to staff on the steps that they should take to mitigate the risks. However further work was needed to ensure that risks were managed in a consistent way.

Staff were clear about what was a safeguarding incident and the steps that they needed to take to protect people. Incidents were reviewed by the registered manager to identify learning and this meant that staff were able to see how effective their actions had been.

Medicines were securely stored, and regular checks were undertaken to ensure that staff were following procedures and identifying errors promptly.

There were some staffing vacancies, but recruitment was underway. Recruitment processes were in place and we saw that staff commenced employment only after all the pre-employment checks were in place.

The registered manager had been working with the local authority to review people’s needs to ensure that they had the support that they needed. As a result, one person at the service had been assessed as needing one to one support and we saw that this had benefited their overall wellbeing.

Newly appointed staff received an induction to ensure that they had the knowledge and skills to support people safely. Ongoing training was provided for existing staff to keep their skills up to date.

People were provided with a choice of meals and their weight was regularly monitored to ensure that any changes were identified.

People had all lived at the service for several years and had good relationships with staff.

People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests; the policies and systems in the service supported this practice.

There was a complaints procedure which was on display and in an accessible format. The registered manager collated people’s views in several ways including satisfaction surveys, service user’s meeting and contact with family members.

Care plans had been updated since the last inspection and were detailed and informative.

People had access to a range of social opportunities and activities.

Quality assurance processes had improved and some of the areas that we found at the previous inspection had already been identified as part of the service’s improvement processes and there was a plan to address.

The registered manager was leading cultural change and working towards creating a more person-centred service. Staff were positive about the progress that had been made and the impact on people who lived in the service.

The service applied the principles and values of Registering the Right Support and other best practice guidance by promoting choice and control, independence and inclusion. People's support focused on them having as many opportunities as possible for them to gain new skills and become more independent.

Rating at last inspection (and update)

The last rating for this service was requires improvement (published 27 July 2018)

At this inspection we found improvements had been made

Why we inspected

This was a planned inspection based on the previous rating.

For more details, please see the full report which is on the CQC website at www.cqc.or

Inspection areas


Requires improvement

Updated 27 July 2019

The service was not always safe.

Details are in our safe findings below.



Updated 27 July 2019

The service was effective.

Details are in our effective findings below.



Updated 27 July 2019

The service was caring.

Details are in our caring findings below.



Updated 27 July 2019

The service was responsive.

Details are in our responsive findings below.



Updated 27 July 2019

The service was well-led.

Details are in our well-Led findings below.