Hollyrood, The Disabilities Trust’s service for adults aged 18+ who have been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum, or have autistic tendencies, has been rated as ‘Good’, maintaining the same rating given in 2014. The report led with the comment that “relatives and staff spoke highly of the service and felt that it was well-led.”

Highlights were the extremely positive comments about Virginia Fenton the new Manager noting that “without exception everyone told us the registered manager had implemented changes that had a positive impact on people”. Staff praised her management style as being “more person centred” and the fact that there was also “a greater emphasis of working with staff". A relative commented "The management is excellent as far as I'm concerned; always open to talk, open to positive and negative feedback."

CQC were also very complimentary about service user support saying that their specialist needs were met and they continued “supported by kind and caring staff who knew people well.” With relatives agreeing: "Staff are kind, they know my relative and vice-versa; there is an ethos of respect". And "What's so important is that staff know how to manage (person's name), what their flash points are and how to extinguish them. Consistency is the key".

Training is taken very seriously across The Disabilities Trust and the report stated that:

Hollyrood, Ardingly Road, Lindfield, RH16 2QY

staff received the training and support they needed to undertake their roles and meet people's specialist needs.” A member of staff told the inspectors “I had an induction and training before I worked in the houses. I was introduced to everyone and shadowed staff before I worked on my own. Agency staff have to do an induction too". Relatives were complimentary too about the staff meeting service users’ needs and providing effective care. “Generally we never have to worry about the number of staff on duty. People have one-to-one staffing. It is two-to-one staffing when out in the community".

The CQC report was complimentary about the wide range of activities on offer which were suited to the individual and promote their independence. A relative told the inspectors "They enjoy the activities; they go out a lot into the community, go for a walk daily, sometimes go out for meals, go to Brighton and to do their weekly shopping with staff support. They do woodwork as well, go to the gym and go to the cinema sometimes. They have an enjoyable life".

The importance placed on good health, access to health care services and support to maintain a varied and nutritious diet was also praised, as was the safe and secure environment. Legal responsibilities are being observed and accident and incidents continued to be recorded and monitored to identify trends and themes.

Virginia Fenton was justifiably pleased with the report: “I am delighted that we have been judged to provide a ‘Good’ service. The wellbeing of the people we support is of prime importance to us. It’s a real team effort and I can’t praise the staff team enough."

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