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Heathcotes (Larkrise), Sutton

Heathcotes (Larkrise) in Sutton, Surrey, a care home providing accommodation for people with autism, some of whom have additional learning disabilities, was rated outstanding for being effective and responsive following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

It gained the score of Good for being safe caring and well-led.

The inspection took place on the 15 & 17 October 2019.

The CQC report highlighted that Heathcotes 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.

Verbal communication was difficult for many people living at the service. However, communication systems were in place to help empower people with their health care choices. For example, staff had placed a push button on the medicine cabinet that would say "I'm not feeling well" when pressed. This had a clear picture on the button of someone in pain. Pictures were used to help people describe any pain they were feeling and where this was. Staff also used pictures and social stories to prepare people for appointments with healthcare professionals.

The inclusive nature of care and support extended outside to visitors and the community. Before visitors entered the service, staff used a leaflet to explain what they might expect and how people may respond to them. This meant that people were less likely to feel anxious or upset with new faces and staff were more able to prevent and respond to behaviours with the full support from visitors.

One healthcare professional commented, "On my first visit to the home they showed me their leaflet explaining some of the needs of the people living there and things that might be an issue for them, this was brilliant and I was very impressed. It has been written in a very positive and caring way but lets you know important information to keep yourself safe and not to upset the residents."

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