Care service for disabled young people rated 'outstanding'

Star House is based on Ackworth Road in Featherstone.
Star House is based on Ackworth Road in Featherstone.

A local service for young people with learning disabilities has been rated as one of the country's best.

Star House, in Featherstone, has been given a rare 'outstanding' grade by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The service, which is run by Wakefield Council, offers short breaks to youngsters with complex needs. It accommodates up to seven people at any one time.

Following an inspection by the the watchdog in July, Star House has now been branded "exemplary", and its staff praised for their dedication to making children's lives better.

The report said: "Young people received excellent support to express themselves and their wishes, even when they did not communicate verbally.

"There was a focus on building positive relationships between young people and staff, which resulted in each care plan representing detailed knowledge of successful ways to reduce young people's stress and anxiety.

"Staff used verbal distractions and a detailed knowledge of things each young person may find challenging or distressing in order to help reduce any heightened emotions or behaviours."

The CQC said that the home encouraged young people to grow their own vegetables in the garden and described seeing some of them having a "joyful" experience at the service.

Families' views of Star House, which is located on Ackworth Road, were also overwhelmingly positive.

The report added: "We received consistently positive feedback about the caring nature of the service, staff's empathic approach and the positive experience young people had whilst staying there.

"Relatives referred to kindness, understanding and sensitivity to people's individual needs as reasons why they felt the service was exceptional in this area."

Speaking at a CCG Board meeting on Tuesday, the council's corporate director for adults and health, Andrew Balchin, said: "It's a really important service for the district.

"It's really hard to get an 'outstanding' rating these days, so to have it as a real tribute to the staff who've been involved in that."

Local Democracy Reporting Service