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In the same week that Westminster House has been praised by inspectors for providing high quality care, the Isle of Wight Council has revealed a near £1million project to improve its facilities.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated the Isle of Wight Council care provider ‘good’ in all 5 categories — safety, effectiveness, caring, responsiveness and leadership.

The service, which provides short term respite care for people with a learning disability or autism, received an overall ‘good’ rating following the inspection in June.

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The judgement came as the local authority announced significant investment plans for the Newport-based care home.

Dr Carol Tozer, the council’s director of adult social care, said:

“Westminster House delivers a highly valued respite care resource for people with learning disabilities and their families.

“Over the past two years, we have implemented a major transformation programme across all of the learning disabilities homes we run in the council.

“I am delighted CQC has rated Westminster as ‘good’ in all respects because this is testament to the hard work, commitment and skill of everyone who works there – and to the positive impact of the change programme we have adhered to.

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“I congratulate each and every one of my colleagues who work at Westminster House, who are justifiably proud of the service they deliver.”

Councillor Clare Mosdell, Cabinet member for adult social care and public health, said:

“I have repeatedly stated that my ambition is for the Island’s adult social services to become a national exemplar, so I am delighted to read CQC rates highly the quality of care and support provided at Westminster House.

“We want the services run directly by adult social care, of which Westminster House is one, to be at the front of our exemplar ambitions and that is why I am also very pleased to announce we have allocated £997,000 to further improve the quality of the environment at Westminster House and provide people using the service with improved facilities.”

Relatives told inspectors how much family members enjoyed attending Westminster House and that they felt safe.

The report found:

• Staff knew people well and had a good understanding of their needs.
• Relatives felt staff provided people with personalised care and they had the opportunity to be in control of their lives as far as possible.
• People were supported to live their lives in accordance with their own choices; and
• Care was planned and delivered in line with people’s individual assessments.

Inspectors said appropriate systems were in place and followed to protect residents from the risk of abuse, adding that families felt listened to and knew how to raise concerns.

Meanwhile, “kind and caring” staff were praised for being “competent, knowledgeable and skilled”, carrying out their roles effectively.

Welcoming the plans, Isle of Wight Councillor Chris Whitehouse (Conservative, Newport West Ward), who represents the area in which Westminster House is located, said:

“This is great news. Whilst Westminster House is located in my ward, it serves a much wider community, and I am absolutely delighted by the service improvements this investment will deliver. I congratulate our Cabinet Member, Cllr Mosdell, our Director of Adult Social Care, Dr Tozer, and all the staff of this excellent facility on what they are achieving for the users of our services.”

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