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Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 19 June 2019

About the service: Whitstone House provides residential care for up to nine people with a learning disability and diagnosis of autism. At the time of the inspection there were eight people using the service.

People’s experience of using this service: The service provided spacious, generous accommodation which was unrestricted, and people could move around freely and access the garden and out buildings. The property was partly owned by Autism Anglia and partly by a housing association. We had some concerns about the safety and cleanliness of the building because audits were not sufficiently robust and had not identified potential hazards to people’s safety. We were however confident about the response of the provider to immediately address our concerns to ensure people were as safe as possible.

The management and oversight of the service had improved upon the appointment of a new registered manager who had started to identify and improve the service with the support of their manager. There had been no registered manager in post for a while after the previous manager left. Some of the governance processes had not been sufficient to identify gaps in the service provision. The service had been using high numbers of agency staff to help ensure they met their contractual arrangements for one to one staffing levels for some people. Since the new manager came into post agency usage had been significantly reduced and staff recruitment robust. This meant people had greater continuity of support by staff they had established a rapport with and were familiar with their needs.

Staff were being well supported with training being brought up to date and in line with their job roles and job description. Records supported a robust staff recruitment process and staff support and development.

Record keeping in general required improvement particularly regarding people’s care plans which were large documents and did not clearly and specifically show what people wanted to achieve and how the service supported them to do it.

People using the service had opportunities to go out and pursue a range of different activities appropriate to their needs. The staffing levels at the service made it possible to provide individualised support and people were supervised to help reduce any risks they might otherwise encounter.

People were supported to maintain good health and the service was proactive in monitoring and helping to manage people’s health care needs.

Staff were clear about how to support people who might lack mental capacity or unable to make decisions about their care, health and welfare. There was clear documentation in place where people could not consent particularly around access to health care.

People were supported to take the medicines they had been prescribed and there was clear guidance in place to ensure staff understood the benefits and side effects of medicines.

Rating at last inspection: Good: Report published 26 September 2016

Why we inspected: This was a planned inspection to check that the service remained Good.

Follow up: We will continue to monitor intelligence we receive about the service until we return to visit as per our inspection programme. If any concerning information is received, we may inspect sooner.

For more details, please see the full report which is on the CQC website at

Inspection areas


Requires improvement

Updated 19 June 2019

The service was not always safe

Details are in our Safe findings below



Updated 19 June 2019

The service was effective

Details are in our Effective findings below.



Updated 19 June 2019

The service was caring

Details are in our caring findings below.



Updated 19 June 2019

The service was responsive

Details are in our responsive findings below.



Updated 19 June 2019

The service was well led

Details are in our well led findings below.