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Inspection carried out on 6 July 2021

During an inspection looking at part of the service

Whitethorne Gardens is a supported living service providing personal care to people with learning disabilities and/or autism. The service supported six adults with their personal care. CQC only inspects where people receive personal care. This is help with tasks related to personal hygiene and eating. Where they do, we also consider any wider social care provided.

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

People told us they felt safe at the service. One person told us, “I am safe, they [staff] are brilliant.” Relatives also gave positive feedback. One relative told us how staff had gone above and beyond in supporting their family member during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The service operated a robust recruitment process. Interviews were thorough, enabling the service to select applicants with the right skills and experience. People were encouraged to take part in the recruitment of staff.

Staff had received training in infection control and spoke confidently about how to support people safely. PPE was readily available. The provider had purchased a temperature monitoring sticker system as an additional measure to keep people and staff safe.

New staff completed an induction period which included shadowing experienced staff members. The management liaised with external healthcare professionals in the development of bespoke training to meet people’s needs.

The provider had systems in place to ensure people were protected from abuse and harm. Staff had completed safeguarding training and were aware of the whistleblowing protocols. Risks to people and the environment were identified and managed.

The provider had systems in place to monitor, assess and improve the quality and safety of the service being provided. Staff told us they felt supported by the management team. People, relatives and staff were encouraged to offer feedback.

We expect health and social care providers to guarantee autistic people and people with a learning disability the choices, dignity, independence and good access to local communities that most people take for granted. Right Support, right care, right culture is the statutory guidance which supports CQC to make assessments and judgements about services providing support to people with a learning disability and/or autistic people.

This service was able to demonstrate how they were underpinning the principles of right support, right care, right culture. The service ensured people received the right support to maximise people’s choice, control and independence. Care was person-centred and promoted people’s human rights. The service demonstrated a clear ethos with people at its centre, ensuring people using the service led confident, inclusive and empowered lives. There was an enthusiastic, positive and caring culture amongst staff at the service.

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

Rating at last inspection (and update)

The last rating for this service was good (published 15 February 2019).

Why we inspected

This was a planned inspection based on our inspection programme.

Follow up

We will continue to monitor information we receive about the service until we return to visit as per our re-inspection programme. If we receive any concerning information we may inspect sooner.

Inspection carried out on 9 January 2019

During a routine inspection

The inspection took place on 9 and 11 January 2019 and was announced.

The service provides personal care to people living in their own houses in the community. It provides a service to disabled adults living in their own homes. Some people receive 24 hour support and others have support at arranged times through the day.

At the time of the inspection nine people were using the service. Three of these people were living in a shared bungalow and others live alone. Currently all the people who use the service live in a newly developed close of flats and bungalows. There is an on-site office, which is a base for the staff who provide the service.

This was the first inspection for this service.

The service had a registered manager. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the Care Quality Commission to manage the service. Like registered providers, they are ‘registered persons’. Registered persons have legal responsibility for meeting the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated Regulations about how the service is run.

Recruitment processes were robust, which helped the employer make safer recruitment decisions when employing new staff.

There were systems in place to reduce the risk of abuse and staff were confident about reporting concerns.

Personal and environmental risks were assessed to ensure people could be supported in the least restrictive way possible; the policies and systems in the service supported this practice. Incidents and accidents were monitored, and action was taken to reduce risks.

People had been assessed to check if they were able to administer their own medicines. Plans had been put in place to ensure people were given the required support to take their medicines according to their individual needs. We saw that medicines were given safely.

Staff had undertaken a range of training that met people's needs. Staff told us they felt very well supported and have opportunities to develop their knowledge and skills.

People were supported to lead healthier lives and maintain appropriate diets.

People told us they found staff caring and that care was delivered in a way that maintained their privacy and dignity. People were supported to be as independent as possible. We received some feedback about how people’s independence had increased and people were being supported to develop new skills.

People had care plans reflecting their likes, dislikes, needs and preference and we saw that people were involved in the assessment of their care. Staff worked with other healthcare professionals to ensure people received a seamless service that met all their needs.

The people we spoke with told us they knew how to raise any concerns and said they felt comfortable doing so. Procedures were in place to record and investigate any concerns or complaints.

We saw that, where this was a feature of the service, people were encouraged to take part in meaningful activities and that the service was highly flexible to support people to do this.

The registered manager was aware of national guidance and good practice and work was ongoing to improve the service in-line with these. The registered manager was interested and involved in making improvements in the wider care sector.

People were consulted about their satisfaction with the service and people generally told us they were happy with the services being provided. Some people, or their representatives, felt there could be improvements to the way the service communicated with them.

We were told that people using the service and staff had good relationships with the management, who were accessible and approachable. The management team regularly checked the quality of the service with a view to continuous learning and improvement. There was a comprehensive audit system in place and processes to gather and learn from feedback about the service.