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New uniform pilot begins as CQC publish positive report about learning disabilities services in Suffolk

​Following feedback from service users, staff at a facility in Lothingland that provides care and treatment for people with a learning disability have been given a uniform.

A six month uniform pilot begins this Thursday, for staff at 6 and 7 Airey Close, who will then be wearing blue polo shirts.

6 Airey Close is an adolescent unit providing assessment and treatment for four patients aged 12 to 18. 7 Airey Close provides rehabilitation service for adults with a learning disability and associated problems who have previously been in a more restrictive environment.

Nurse lead, Sue Medley, said: “Service users told us they would like staff to wear a uniform because this distinguishes them from service users and makes them look more professional.”

The initiative from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust comes in the wake of a positive final report published on Wednesday by the Care Quality Commission.

The report found that the unit was meeting both its essential standards of quality and

  • People get safe and appropriate care that meets their needs and supports their rights
  • People are protected from abuse and staff respect their human rights.


Some of the key findings were:

A person’s needs are checked before they move in and information is given out in a way they can understand about what it is like to live there.

  • People get the right care and support in a safe way and this is written down and kept up to date.
  • Staff listen to what people say about the care they get.
  • Staff help service users make healthy choices
  • Activities take place regularly inside and outside the home
  • People know who to tell if they don’t feel safe
  • Staff are trained to keep people safe


One patient said they had previously stayed in other hospitals and this was ‘the best.’ One parent said: “Since my relative moved to Lothingland, a ‘miracle’ has happened in that my relative has been supported through their illness to become happy again.”

Patients told CQC that staff always treated them with respect and listened and acted on their views. Care plans detailed the care, treatment and support each patient required in a person centred way, covering their physical and mental communication needs. Guidelines for managing challenging behaviour were clear and focused on promoting appropriate behaviour rather than dealing with the negative behaviour.