• Care Home
  • Care home

Little Amberwood

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

1 Amberwood Gardens, Walkford, Christchurch, BH23 5RT (01202) 022002

Provided and run by:
Apple House Limited

Latest inspection summary

On this page

Background to this inspection

Updated 21 December 2021

The inspection

We carried out this inspection under Section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (the Act) as part of our regulatory functions. This inspection was planned to check whether the provider was meeting the legal requirements and regulations associated with the Act, to look at the overall quality of the service, and to provide a rating for the service under the Care Act 2014.

As part of our inspection we looked at the infection control and prevention measures in place. This was conducted so we can understand the preparedness of the service in preventing or managing an infection outbreak, and to identify good practice we can share with other services.

Inspection team

The inspection team consisted of one inspector.

Service and service type

Little Amberwood is a care home. People in care homes receive accommodation and personal care as a 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. This service did not provide nursing care.

The service had a manager registered with the CQC. This means that they and the provider are legally responsible for how the service is run and for the quality and safety of the care provided.

Notice of inspection

We gave the service 48 hours’ notice of the inspection. This was because the service was small, and people are often out, and we wanted to be sure there would be people at home to speak with us.

What we did before the inspection

We reviewed information we had received about the service since our last inspection. We sought feedback from the local authority and health care professionals who work with the service. The provider was not asked to complete a provider information return prior to this inspection. This is information we require providers to send us to give some key information about the service, what the service does well and improvements they plan to make. We took this into account when we inspected the service and made the judgements in this report.

During the inspection

We met all four of the people living at the service and spent some time with them. We observed and listened to how staff interacted with people. During the visit we spoke with the registered manager and three support workers.

We observed how people were supported and, to establish the quality of care people received we looked at records related to people’s care and support. This included two people’s care plans, care delivery records and all four people’s Medicine Administration Records (MAR). We also looked at records relating to the management of the service including staffing rota’s, recruitment, supervision and training records, premises maintenance records, quality assurance records, and a range of the providers policies and procedures.

After the inspection

We continued to seek clarification from the provider to validate evidence found. We reviewed the additional documentation we had requested from the registered manager. We requested written feedback from three health care professionals who worked with the service and spoke with four relatives.

Overall inspection


Updated 21 December 2021

About the service

Little Amberwood is a care home that provides accommodation and personal care for up to four people diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders and learning disabilities. At the time of this inspection there were four people living at the home.

The service is situated in the Walkford area of Christchurch. The premises comprise of a two-story house with four bedrooms, all with en-suite facilities and shared living areas. These included a kitchen, conservatory dining area and separate lounge. The garden provided areas for both recreation and seating for people to use as they wish. The garden included a separate area for chickens, which people particularly enjoyed caring for.

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

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 meeting the underpinning principles of Right support, right care, right culture.

Right support:

The model of care and setting maximised people’s choice, control and independence. People were supported to make choices about their daily lives and do things they enjoyed. Staff knew people well and supported and encouraged people to live their best lives. Staff understood the importance of social inclusion and supported people to maintain and develop relationships and engage in the wider local community.

Right care:

Care was person-centred and promoted people’s dignity, privacy and human rights. Positive behaviour support plans provided clear guidance for staff which ensured people received consistent, person-centred care. Staff were knowledgeable regarding how people preferred to be supported and understood people’s individual behaviours and which events may trigger anxiety. People were supported and enabled 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.

Right culture:

The ethos, values, attitudes and behaviours of management and care staff ensured people using the service led confident, inclusive and empowered lives. Staff created a friendly, homely environment where people were supported to make their own choices regarding how they lived their daily lives.

Relatives told us they felt the staff provided safe care and support and people enjoyed living at Little Amberwood. We observed people were relaxed and happy with staff who knew them well and supported them in ways they preferred. People were treated with dignity and respect that valued them individually. Relatives and health and social care professionals all spoke positively of the management and staff team and told us they were very happy with the support and level of care people received.

The was a clear risk assessment system in place. Risks to people’s health, safety and well-being were regularly assessed, reviewed and updated. Risks to the environment were also assessed and reviewed. Where appropriate people and their families were fully included and involved in their care and support. People’s and relatives views and opinions were listened to and acted upon.

Staff understood how to identify and report abuse and were well supported in their roles. Staff received regular team meetings, supervision and annual appraisals and completed a variety of training courses to enable them to carry out their roles competently.

Staff were recruited safely. There were enough appropriately trained and experienced staff to support people in ways that suited them.

Medicines were managed, stored and administered safely. People were supported to take their medicines safely by staff who had received the appropriate levels of training and had their competency regularly checked.

Cleaning and infection control procedures followed the relevant COVID-19 guidance to help protect people, visitors and staff from the risk of infection. Government guidance regarding COVID-19 testing for people, staff and visitors was being followed.

People received healthy, nutritious meals. Some people enjoyed planning and cooking for themselves. People’s dietary needs were assessed and reviewed regularly.

The service worked collaboratively with health care professionals to ensure people always received the best care and support. Staff were responsive to people’s changing support needs and adapted care and support according to their health needs.

The service was well-led by a registered manager who was approachable and respected by the people, relatives, health care professionals and staff. We received positive feedback regarding the registered manager and their open, friendly and supportive approach to ensuring each person was supported to live their best lives.

There were clear quality assurance systems in place to drive improvement and ensure the home offered a safe, effective, caring and responsive service.

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

Rating at last inspection

This service was registered with us on 6 August 2020 and this is the first full inspection.

Why we inspected

This was a planned inspection.

We looked at infection prevention and control measures under the safe key question. We look at this in all care home inspections even if no concerns or risks have been identified. This is to provide assurance that the service can respond to COVID-19 and other infection outbreaks effectively.

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.