We know that every care provider strives for the Outstanding rating at CQC inspection, so we thought here at ARC we would ask some of our members who have received an ‘Outstanding’ in one of more of the KLOE’s to share their stories and experience. We are very grateful to our members Kate Allen, Kingwood Trust, Sonia Simon and Christine Aslan, Yarrow Housing, and Leigh-Anne Smith at Polesworth Homes for sharing the stories of their services with us. 

We want to hear from more members who are willing to share their experience in future. Also we understand that receiving a less than good rating can be a stressful time, remember we are here to support you to address any areas of concern with our innovative training solutions. Lastly, we attend the CQC trade association meetings, so please let us know if there is anything you wish us to raise on your behalf.

Kingwood Trust – received an Outstanding for ‘Responsive’ in CQC inspection 5/01/2016 (Domiciliary Care Service). Chief Executive, Kate Allen, talked to us about why she thinks Kingwood managed to gain this recognition and how the organisation values team work and a personalised approach.Kingwood

“I am of course delighted and so proud that we achieved four Good ratings and one Outstanding. It is truly achieved by a team effort and the entire organisation working together towards the same objective, which for Kingwood is quite simply, the best possible service that we can provide for people with autism.

It is hard in this financial climate to provide top quality support when often we are funded for ‘just enough’ support. But we ensure every penny we get is used as effectively as possible. We have a small research element to our work and we use that to inform how we respond to people; but to respond you have to ask and actually listen! We have a ‘people we support’ forum that meets regularly at our main office and representatives with autism and learning disabilities tell us what they like about what we are doing, and what they don’t.

We’ve used the existing skills of our team to develop apps to collate feedback in an accessible format. We have a small number of amazing projects – for example we are in the 6th year of working with The Royal College of Art to investigate how we can use design to make improvements to the lives of people with autism; how we can change the environment to suit the person, not the person to suit the environment. We are also working with Dogs for Good (was Dogs for the Disabled) to help people build confidence around dogs, overcome fear that might be preventing them from going out more often. One young lady we support has been regularly taking the blood pressure of her canine colleague to build confidence of going to the GP for a health check!

It’s a bit of a cliché but we’ve had to be creative and innovative, and determined not to lower our standards along with the lowering of income… it’s hard.” – Kate Allen, Chief Executive

Yarrow Housing – received an Outstanding for ‘Caring’ in CQC inspection 30/03/2015 (Angela House). We caught up with both Sonia Simon (Care Service Manager) and Christine Aslan (Registered Manager) about their investment in staff development, focus on sourcing speakers with an external expertise, and the day-to-day approach of the staff working at Angela House.

• We invest in training our staff and see this as an important priority.
• We have run various projects including one on CQC inspection KLOES, involving managers from all our services, helping staff to fully understand what is required by CQC and how to make sure they are running the best service possible.
• We have a designated domiciliary suite for staff to be able to share a central space, but also to enable them to catch up on administrative duties.
• We have the usual managers meetings and supervisions, but we also invite external speakers – experts in their fields – to attend. For example:
• We arranged for Sam Bennet who was at the time the Programme Director, TLAP, to run a session with the managers on the Care Act. Sam is now the Head of Commissioning Personal Health Budgets at NHS England, and currently the Chair of our Quality Committee in Yarrow.
• We had the tri-borough (Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea) DoLS lead Andy Seymour come in to the service and discuss the implications of Deprivation of Liberty.
• We have also previously arranged a session with Margaret Flynn, author of “Winterbourne Review” and invited the commissioners and social workers of the boroughs to attend also.
• We arranged a five day Training on the New Care Certificate for the managers of the service.
– Sonia Simon, Care Service Manager, Angela House

“Personally I think the answer is honesty, continuity of good staff; Loyalty; Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, going on that journey together. Willingness and common sense. There are no courses that give you that and no forms to fill in that would ever convince me that someone has it.

Regarding the CQC report we had great feedback from relatives, G.P’s, learning disability team reviewing officers, advocates – anyone who has anything to do with the home and the people in it, were invited to give their opinion, most sent copies of what they sent to us which was kind.

We try to involve people, are very open and straight forward. Keeping things simple, none of what we do needs to be or is complicated.

People trust us. Staff are happy, and are encouraged to say what they think, and they do.

Our guys have profound learning and varying physical disabilities, unique ways of communicating. Together we find ways of having fun, whether it’s out and about at a dance class, having a cup of tea in the bath with a favourite CD on. Finding strong balloons that don’t pop too easily, jumping in the car because its sunny and you fancy fish and chips by the seaside, not because it is on a timetable. Having a choice of things to do. That’s a nice challenge to have, finding things, stuff, anything that the guys enjoy and make life what it should be.” – Christine Aslan, Registered Manager, Angela House

Polesworth Homes – Received an Outstanding for ‘Responsiveness’ in CQC inspection 2/07/2015 (Laurel End). Chief Executive, Leigh-Anne Smith, told us about how much Polesworth value consistency, inclusion, real outcomes, and building links with the local community.

• Our care plans are very detailed and help staff to understand the individual preferences, interests and aspirations of each individual. We have very low staff turnover levels which means care is delivered by consistent staff teams. We consider this to be very important as it ensures that people are supported by staff who have developed a thorough understanding of the persons needs and wishes.polesworth choir with caption

• We encourage the people we support to be actively involved within the community they live. Service users are supported to take part in community events and use a wide range of community based facilities. Examples: One service user represents the views of other learning disabled adults on the Patients Forum at the local GP surgery. One has joined the Women’s Institute knitting group at their local church.

• We have taken a keen interest in promoting and building links within the community and after contacting a local school our organisation has been nominated as their ‘Charity of the Year’. The school have been very responsive to learning more about our work and the children have been organising events to raise money for our charity. The collaboration between our organisation and the school will also facilitate the promotion of disability and equality awareness and over the next few months the school will be welcoming some of the adults we support into school in various volunteer roles.

• We have introduced an ‘identified outcomes’ section in our care plans for each service user. This enables us to establish how we can best help service users achieve positive things in their lives and provides us with a system for clearly monitoring and evidencing the achievement of individual outcomes. Key workers are involved significantly in this process. The system we are using has been recognised as an example of best practice by the local authority. – Leigh-Anne Smith, Chief Executive (Polesworth Group Homes)

We would also like to congratulate the following ARC England members on their CQC inspection successes:

  • Linkage Community Trust – awarded an Outstanding in ‘Responsive’ for two services – Bellamy’s Cottage (27/02/2015) and Weelsby View (24/06/2015)
  • Wilf Ward Family Trust – awarded an Outstanding in ‘Responsive’ for The Paceys (15/05/2015)
  • Robert Owen Communities (ROC) – awarded an Oustanding overall for their Supported Living (Exeter and Devon) service (7/01/2015).