Care quality

How to achieve and keep an 'Outstanding' status

Rosebank, a specialist dementia care home in Bampton, Oxfordshire was rated ‘Outstanding’ for a second time following inspection in January by the Care Quality Commission. Owner Jane Roberts shares guidance on how to achieve this rare accolade of retaining an ‘Outstanding’ rating

An ‘Outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is recognition that you are meeting the highest standards set. It is also a testament that your care recipients are getting a first-class service. Attaining an outstanding CQC rating is something every care home strives for, but retaining the top rating is a different approach altogether, requiring dedication and a focus on constant improvement.

Rosebank, a specialist dementia care home in Bampton, Oxfordshire was rated ‘Outstanding’ for a second time in January by the CQC, retaining its place amongst the top 4% of adult social care services and becoming only one of two in Oxfordshire homes to have received the rating for a consecutive time.

How to attain ‘Outstanding’ Achieving an ‘Outstanding’ rating is not a tick box exercise and there is no magic formula, it is about the people and bringing passion to the care you deliver which all starts with good leadership. Small care providers like ourselves are highly reliant on recruiting good managers. All efforts in auditing, quality assurance and governance will have little effect if a manager is not well supported, confident and competent in their role. It is important to recruit leaders who are committed to continually improving their service, even when they were already doing well. Good leaders can make a difference to the culture in a place by being approachable, so staff feel comfortable raising concerns with them. Strong leadership and an investment in excellent training should be at the

heart of the high-quality care offered. Staff need to be knowledgeable about people’s individual needs and systems should be in place to ensure staff are made aware of any changes in care needs or preferences.

At Rosebank, individual care plans are in place which reflect each person’s current needs including the actions staff should take to support residents to meet their intended outcomes and goals. Guidance is provided for staff to support people to remain independent, active and maintain hobbies and interests. Residents who have the capacity have a lot of input into their care plan. With people who lack capacity, every effort is made to enquire and find out information from relatives so that previous choices and preferences that they made are continued and cascaded to all staff. That means that all staff at Rosebank play an active role in working with the residents and their families.

Communication, communication, communication

Effective communication is a key component of exceptional care. At Rosebank, key emphases are on the importance of communication and the need to prioritise communication with families. We send out quarterly newsletters and are extremely active on Facebook to update and provide reassurance to relatives.

Facebook is the most fluid and rapid communication channel to keep audiences up to date – on everything from what residents had for dinner, to a day out at the garden centre, to what happened at the weekly activities class, to snippets of interesting information about residents and staff.

When your Facebook page is running off the energy of its own momentum, and with loyal friends and fans, your staff and

22 • July 2020

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