Children's care home in Lancaster rated outstanding by Ofsted

A care home in Lancaster which provides short breaks for disabled children has been rated outstanding by Ofsted.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 10:34 am

Alex House, in Westbourne Drive, is run by the county council and provides residential breaks for up to six children.

Ofsted inspectors found all aspects of care to be outstanding when they visited in March.

They said the home provides "highly effective services that consistently exceed the standards of good".

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Alex House in Lancaster has been rated outstanding by Ofsted.

The actions of the home contribute to significantly improved outcomes and positive experiences for children and young people who need help, protection and care, they added.

The children receive well-planned, highly individualised care, and as a result, they are making significant progress in many aspects of their lives.

The children benefit from a high level of staff supervision and support, with supervision levels tailored to meet each child’s individual needs.

Careful planning ensures that children are well matched in terms of their needs, abilities and interests. This is supporting children to meet new people and develop new friendships.

Children are cared for by staff who know them well and understand their complex needs and behaviours.

The registered manager, Johnpaul Adamson, ensures that staff receive specialist training that is aligned to children’s health needs.

He has a wealth of experience and a depth of knowledge of working with disabled children, the inspectors reported.

He is supported by two equally skilled assistant team managers, and together they form a highly effective leadership team.

"The manager is a confident and inspirational leader," inspectors noted. "He leads by example and has high expectations of the staff team.

"He has successfully embedded a child-centred culture within the home. The manager encourages staff to be creative and solution focused in their approaches with children.

"The manager is passionate about delivering high-quality care that supports children to be happy and to reach their full potential. He enjoys spending time with the children and ensures that he is accessible to them. As a result, he demonstrates an in-depth knowledge of children’s complex needs."

The inspectors also noted that the staff team is consistent and staff retention is high. Staff feel supported and valued by their managers and colleagues.

Mr Adamson said: "As a team we are absolutely thrilled with receiving our 11th consecutive Ofsted outstanding grading. This is especially welcome following the challenges covid has brought us and the number of new families we are supporting.

"I have been manager of Alex House for 12 years next month and part of a consistent, passionate, strong, child centred team since starting in 2001.

"Inspections don’t get easier but we always welcome the scrutiny and support they bring and see them as an opportunity to showcase all the hard work that goes into making short breaks for children with complex needs outstandingly valuable for the young people and give peace of mind to parents and carers so they can enjoy relaxed respite confident that their child is safe and happy in a home from home environment.

"We are always confident we are appreciated and valuable to all the families we support…11 years of Ofsted feeling we are outstanding is the cherry on the icing of the cake."