PARK LODGE, a residential care home for adults with learning disabilities and autism has been rated ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Park Lodge, in the Roker area of the city, provides care and support for up to eight people who have autistic spectrum conditions. 

The home, run by Swanton Care and Community, was praised by inspectors for its transformation over the past six months under the leadership of a new manager and through the implementation of a rigorous training and support systems for all staff.

The CQC said each of its five inspection criteria – is the service safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led? – were rated as ‘Good’, making the home fully compliant with the regulator.

New Home Manager Marie Jevon, an autism specialist with more than 30 years’ experience in care, said she was delighted that Park Lodge had received such a positive CQC report.

She said: “I’m so proud of the team here, this has been a group effort and it is a fantastic achievement.

“Investing in staff training has been our number one priority - once people have the knowledge and skills to do their job properly they then feel valued and enjoy every day. They are proud of where they work and the service that they provide.

“Our residents and their families have already felt the benefit from this, it means we can provide truly personalised care to individuals with complex needs.

“We have an action plan in place for the next 12 months and we will continue to improve our training and keep developing our service.”

The 20-strong team have received specialist training in augmentative communication methods used to supplement or replace speech, such as PECs, a picture exchange communication system and Makaton, a form of sign language. There are also plans to introduce additional assistive technology to support residents in communication and decision making.

The unannounced inspection, which took place in February, found that ‘there was a lot of laughter in the service’, and that there were ‘warm and compassionate relationships between people and staff’.