Vivo Care Choices’ specialist autism service at Dover Drive in Ellesmere Port has been given another ‘good’ rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), meaning all regulated services remain ‘good’ and highlighting the fantastic care and support provided during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dover Drive was last inspected in September 2019, receiving a ‘good’ rating, and inspectors once again recognised the quality of the services being provided for people with autism.

The report highlighted how people and their relations felt they were safe, they’re supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff always support them in the least restrictive way possible in their best interests.

Staff support is very person centred and matches people’s individual needs and preferences. As an example, one person lives in their own accommodation and receives minimal support in line with their wishes, but they’re able to live safely and independently.

On relative said: “The staff are very good. If I make a suggestion, then they will listen to it and I can influence the support received. I feel fully involved and they always keep me informed. We all work as a team.”

The report also said quality assurance systems were in place and the service was able to demonstrate how they were meeting the underpinning principles of right support, right care, right culture.

Staff view the location as being neighbours rather than being one larger accommodation. The main office on site doesn’t impact on people’s accommodation and is seen as a focus for support for people and staff alike.

This follows on from the positive inspection the National Autistic Society (NAS) carried out at Dover Drive earlier in the pandemic.

Vivo, which provides a range of services for people with learning disabilities and autism and older people, has made significant progress in recent years and this latest inspection continues the upward trend.

Luke Sheehan, Service Manager at Dover Drive, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges for us at Vivo and the wider adult social care sector.

“I’m very proud of my team for the way they’ve adapted during the pandemic and continued providing high-quality services for the people we support.

“Having two inspections during this period has been very challenging, but the positive outcomes highlight the fantastic work that has been done by all the staff here.

“Like all other services across Vivo, we want to be at the heart of the community and, after numerous lockdowns, it’s been great to see the people we support getting out and about safely in line with the latest guidance.

“We’re looking forward to continue developing our services in the coming years, with the people we support and their carers and family members at the heart of the process.”

Alistair Jeffs, Managing Director of Vivo, added: “I’d like to congratulate Luke and his team on these positive inspections by both the CQC and NAS.

“Our supported living services have been under significant pressure during the pandemic as we had to adapt and make sure we supported everyone who had no other care outside Vivo.

“Achieving another ‘good’ rating only highlights the progress that continues to be made at Dover Drive and the invaluable care and support we provide there.”

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