News Ashton recognised for its ‘outstanding’ care A North East Autism Society residential home for adults has been recognised for its ‘outstanding’ care. As part of the Care Quality Commission’s inspection of Ashton the care and health regulator deemed the home ‘good’ overall but in seeking to answer the question, ‘Is the service caring,’ inspectors said Ashton was outstanding. Home manager, Jill Early said: We are of course delighted to be recognised for something we have always strived for but it’s honestly a true reflection on the team here and the situations we are dealing with at the moment. At the time of the inspection Jill and her team were helping one of their residents through some challenging situations. Jill believes it was observing her team in action that impressed inspectors. My staff were closely observed as they helped one adult who was really struggling. Everything we do is centred around the service user and their needs and so what would normally have been a short process took a lot longer. This patience and kindness was observed, and noted. It may have been seen as exceptional but it’s what we all do every day. The report stated that the caring domain exceeded fundamental standards and that residents were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives in the least restrictive way possible. It was recorded that residents of Ashton go on to lead a more fulfilled life. The home was assessed to be good in terms of safety, service effectiveness, service responsiveness and being well-led, as well as being outstanding as a caring service. John Phillipson, chief executive officer for the North East Autism Society, said: It’s six months since the horrendous Dispatches documentary aired depicting St Andrew’s – one of the largest providers of care for people with autism - as archaic and cruel. We’ve never subscribed to such methods and so nothing has changed in how we deliver our care but this report just serves to prove what we have known and been putting into practice for years – smaller homes and dedicated staff teams provide the best care – and get the best outcomes for people with autism and learning difficulties. I’m hugely proud of the team from Ashton and indeed all our residential staff teams whose commitment and dedication really do exceed normal standards leading to real lives being transformed.