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Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 22 April 2020

About the service

Viking House is provided by Barnardo’s and serves as a residential short break centre for children and young people with severe, profound and complex physical and learning disabilities. The resource centre consists of seven bedrooms which provide overnight accommodation for children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years of age.

The centre is a large home which is significantly bigger than most domestic properties. At the time of our inspection it was registered to provide accommodation for a maximum of seven children and young people at any one time. However, the seventh bed is often reserved as an emergency bed to provide emergency care for children referred by the local authority. This may be when there are safeguarding concerns, family break down or for post-operative care, where it is not possible to care for the child in their own home.

During our visit, four children and young people were scheduled to receive respite. The home is situated in a residential area, close to shops and other local amenities.

The home comprises of five activity rooms that include jacuzzi, ball pool room, multi-sensory room, T.V and computer room, art and craft materials, books, musical instruments and a wide range of toys and games that are suitable for all age groups. We noted that in the records of children and young people we reviewed, that many children and young people enjoyed use of the jacuzzi during their stay. However, at the time of our inspection visit, the jacuzzi was out of use and had been for a significant period of time. We were not made of any plans to address this issue at the time of our visit.

The spacious nature of the home and multiple quiet spaces was benefitting children and young people who have sensory processing issues and who become overwhelmed in busy, noisy environments. All quiet spaces were accessible and had overhead hoisting systems.

Managers and staff made conscious efforts to ensure that the home was homely and made attempts where possible to avoid any signs both inside and outside of the home which may indicate the nature and purpose of the building. Staff did not wear uniform, but their own clothing which was appropriate for the nature of their work.

Viking House consistently applied the principles and values that underpin Registering the Right Support and other best practice guidance. Staff strived to ensure that the children and young people who used the service were supported to lead active, meaningful and fulfilling lives whilst also providing support for their families, parents and carers.

There was a positive, embedded ethos of promoting independence and choice. We found that staff took time to get to know the interests, preferences and aspirations of the children and young people who attended the home for respite and aimed to involve them in a range of activities which further cultivated their interests and personal development. Children and young people who used the centre benefitted from planned and co-ordinated person-centred support that was appropriate for their individual needs.

The centre had been fully adapted to enable children and young people who rely on the use of wheelchairs and other mobility aids, to move around the home autonomously and with ease. The centre had a sensory space and a large garden and patio to the rear. These areas could be accessed by children and young people who had mobility issues independently. The outdoor play equipment in the garden area had been specially adapted so it could be used by residents with a range of physical disabilities. The garden had been thoughtfully planted with a range of fragrant, vividly coloured plants and flowers to meet the sensory needs of children and young people with visual impairments.

Staff were knowledgeable and well trained to provide complex care. They knew the children and young people they were working with well and knew how to keep them safe from abuse and harm. However, clear guide

Inspection areas


Requires improvement

Updated 22 April 2020

The service was not always safe.

Details are in our safe findings below.



Updated 22 April 2020

The service was effective.

Details are in our effective findings below.



Updated 22 April 2020

The service was caring.

Details are in our caring findings below.



Updated 22 April 2020

The service was responsive.

Details are in our responsive findings below.



Updated 22 April 2020

The service was well led.

The findings are in our well led findings below.