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Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 9 January 2020

About the service

Castle Dene specialises in the care and support of people with learning disabilities and/or autism, as well as additional health care needs.

Castle Dene offers two different types of service. A respite service accommodates up to eight people on short breaks or emergency placements in a care home within a residential area of South Gosforth in Newcastle. At the time of our visit, five people were staying at the respite service.

This care home was a single-floor adapted building, which also housed the offices from which the other part of the service was managed. This is a shared lives scheme which provides people with long-term placements, short breaks and respite care, within shared lives carers (SLC) own homes.

The service has been developed and designed in line with the principles and values that underpin Registering the Right Support and other best practice guidance. This ensures that people who use the service can live as full a life as possible and achieve the best possible outcomes. The principles reflect the need for people with learning disabilities and/or autism to live meaningful lives that include control, choice, and independence. People using the service receive planned and co-ordinated person-centred support that is appropriate and inclusive for them.

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

People’s experience of using the service and relatives’ feedback was overall positive. We took a balance of what people, relatives, staff and shared lives carers told us about the different parts of the service.

We found that some training needed to be updated and made a recommendation regarding the service’s awareness of current best practice guidance. Although the service had not been aware of Registering the Right Support, they applied the principles and values of this guidance. These ensure that people who use the service can live as full a life as possible and achieve the best possible outcomes that include control, choice and independence.

The outcomes for people using the service reflected the principles and values of Registering the Right Support 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.

People using the shared lives service told us they felt safe living with their carers. People told us about their individual achievements, as well as activities they had enjoyed together with shared lives carers. One person said, “They look after me when I am not well. I am part of the family and call them mum and dad.“ Staff support to people in the respite service was respectful, dignified and person-centred. People appeared calm and relaxed in the presence of staff and feedback from relatives confirmed this. One relative summarised, “It is a nice place to go to, they know [name] well and they get on well. If I have any problems, I speak to the staff they will sort it out. I would recommend it to anyone.”

The empowering and inclusive culture of the service was led by a well-respected registered manager. The respite service setting required some updating, refreshment and refurbishment, which the registered manager had highlighted to the provider. They were looking to develop the service’s offer of things to provide sensory stimulation and seeking accreditation from the National Autistic Society.

Regular meetings took place for staff and shared lives carer and the registered manager was continuously looking to develop how they engaged and involved everyone with the service. Monitoring visits and other checks were in place to help ensure a safe, quality service. We considered with managers some improvements to ensure the consistency of reviews.

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 th

Inspection areas



Updated 9 January 2020

The service was safe.

Details are in our safe findings below.


Requires improvement

Updated 9 January 2020

The service was not always effective.

Details are in our effective findings below.



Updated 9 January 2020

The service was caring.

Details are in our caring findings below.



Updated 9 January 2020

The service was responsive.

Details are in our responsive findings below.



Updated 9 January 2020

The service was well-led.

Details are in our well-led findings below.