An expanding North East homecare organisation has secured a ‘Good’ rating for its recently established Specialist Care Services branch.
Helping Hands Community Care, which provides care and support services to hundreds of people across Northumberland, North Tyneside and Gateshead, only established the specialist care division in Cramlington 12 months ago.
In its first inspection, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) awarded the new branch ‘Good’ ratings across all five areas to be measured – from safety to effectiveness and responsiveness.
Inspectors also praised the service for being well-led. The decision by Helping Hands to establish the division last year coincided with a strengthening of the management team and the appointment of Sharon King as the head of specialist care services, alongside Sandra Vitty, who was made registered branch manager.
The branch office team, operating from Cramlington, along with almost 150 homecare workers oversee and deliver care and support for more than 60 adults and children with a range of complex needs, including: learning difficulties, post-traumatic brain injuries, challenging behaviours, autism, and mental health.
Sharon King said: “This is such a fabulous result for the whole specialist team who have worked really hard in such a short space of time. We wanted to get off to a really good start to then give us something to build and improve on.”
Within the report on Specialist Care Services, inspectors noted “one person said, ‘I think the staff go over and beyond what they are meant to do.” They also reported that “one relative said, ‘the carers are excellent. They are out and about with (person) all the time’.”
David Harrison, managing director at Helping Hands, based in Hexham, said: “I am so pleased for our Specialist Care Service team. They have worked hard to establish quality standards across the board. I am now hopeful we can take the service forward and secure further care work around the region.
“I was genuinely proud and heartened to read the feedback from service users and relatives that were interviewed. The comments were so positive and appreciative of the level of care we provide. I know this is going on elsewhere, across our organisation and I’m confident we will be seeing more recognition of the progress being made in other branches by the CQC in 2020.”