Care home rated ‘outstanding’ for second year running

summerwood care home
Summerwood was given the highest mark in four out of five key areas

A RESIDENTIAL home for people with learning difficulties has been rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission for the second time in a row.


Summerwood care home in Ashley Road, New Milton, opened in 2013 and provides support to eight residents. It is run by the Apple House care group, which operates four services in Hampshire and Dorset.

Inspectors visited in February and March this year and awarded ‘outstanding’ ratings in four of five key areas. It was last inspected in 2017 when it gained the same accolade.

Director of operations Romaine Lawson said: “I’m very proud of the full team, the people we support, family members and our health and social care colleagues.

“Everyone works together to make Summerwood an outstanding place to live and work.”

The report said: “The service is larger than recommended by best practice guidance. However, we have rated this service ‘outstanding’ because they arranged the service in a way that ensured people received person-centred care and were supported to maximise their independence, choice, control and involvement in the community.”

Summerwood director of operations Romaine Lawson and manager John Caslake

It added: “People we spoke with told us they were happy living at Summerwood and relatives consistently told us they were exceptionally happy with the excellent care their loved ones received.

“People and relatives told us they thought the service was very safe and said staff had an excellent understanding of their loved one’s needs and risks. People who had, in previous placements, been restrained or unable to take part in the community were now enjoying these freedoms.

“Equality, diversity and human rights were lived and promoted by staff within the home and within the wider community.”

The report added: “People were at the heart of their home and were consistently empowered to make decisions about their care and support which increased their confidence, self-esteem, independence and skills.”

The management team promoted an open, ‘can do’ culture, it said, and had a passion for inclusion and making a positive difference to people’s lives.

Staff went to exceptional lengths, which included providing training and advice to the local community to ensure the people they supported were not discriminated against or excluded from activities due to their complex behaviours.