In her blog this week our CEO celebrates an ‘outstanding’ CQC for one of our services and reflects on the dedication of staff across the organisation

In her blog this week our CEO celebrates an ‘outstanding’ CQC for one of our services and reflects on the dedication of staff across the organisation

During these challenging times it is uplifting to hear that our ‘Transforming Care’ service in Essex has been rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission.

For some of the people we support in this service, it is the first time in many years they have experienced what it means to live outside an institution. To make choices about how they decorate their homes, what hobbies and interests they pursue and even what and when they eat.

The report says “The service has transformed the lives of people, maximising their independence and giving them the opportunity to develop interests and life skills that were completely new to them. For example, managing day-to-day finances, choosing and preparing meals, keeping a pet and accessing the community.”

Inspectors said that people had been able to take part in experiences and activities that had never seemed possible without the dedicated and focused support from staff.

The report describes how people’s skills and interests were encouraged and celebrated with one person being supported to build a BBQ and seating area. Another said staff had supported him to visit art galleries and research different artists and paintings which he then interpreted into his own work. Inspectors saw this displayed throughout his home.

To run an outstanding ‘Transforming Care’ service, like this one in Essex, takes hard work and commitment. It also takes many months of planning and preparation and hours of collaborative working with a range of professionals from a health and social care  background. I am hugely proud of our team for working so closely with other professionals towards the same goal and for never faltering in their belief in what was achievable. I am also hugely proud of the people we support for embracing their new lives with such enthusiasm and ambition.

You can read more about the report in our news release:

The imagination, resilience and resourcefulness of all our staff throughout this crisis is a theme I keep coming back to. Our creative staff are constantly coming up with new and inventive ways to help the people they work with get involved in meaningful activities and adapt to the new restrictions. Last weekend many of our services celebrated VE Day with tea parties, garden parties and socially distanced street parties.

Staff and service users in Doncaster decided to add a little laughter by having a themed fancy dress day and Tigger the new kitten has been a huge hit with everyone at our service in Wellingborough.

Staff have organised arts and craft activities, garden-based fitness sessions, cricket, football, cake decorating competitions, creative writing, cooking, baking, singing, playing bingo and much more.

Each week, our service users and support staff across the country show their enthusiastic support for key workers by clapping on their door steps every Thursday evening and decorating their homes and gardens with a wonderful array of rainbows.

Next week is mental health week and the theme is kindness. One thing that has shone through, for me, during the last few weeks, is the kindness throughout our organisation. I see on a daily basis the kindness shown between our staff and service users. But please don’t forget to also be kind to yourself.