A sad week for CMG, ‘growing our own’ and a good approach from Redbridge

22 April 2015

It has been a very sad week for CMG. We lost three of the people we support over the weekend. Though people we support do of course die from time to time, we have never lost three people within the space of 2 days before. All of them died in hospital, with the staff teams supporting them, and demonstrating a huge level of commitment being with them at the end of their lives. CMG’s Board has asked me to pass on its condolences to families, people we support who knew them well and our staff.

I visited 15 services last week and went to the New Forest to see how the new services that have recently joined CMG are bedding in. That process is going well and staff seem to be happy and comfortable with us as their new managers. Whenever we take over a service, we put a lot of time and effort into helping the staff adjust, reassuring them and dealing with the inevitable rumours that people hear.

We are continuing to receive inspection reports from CQC and overall, since the new CQC inspection system started, we have had one outstanding rating and 10 good ratings. These services and their ratings will be outlined in our family newsletter, CMG Times, which is being published next week. I also received an inspection report from one of our Welsh services this week. They are inspected by CSSIW and have a different system to England. The report was very positive with no requirements.

We have a Regional Director vacancy and held interviews for the post last week. We appointed Jayne Dakic to the role who is a very good CMG Home Manager. I am always delighted when we ‘grow our own’. One of the things we try and do in CMG is encourage people to make a career with us rather than just having a job. We are good at internal promotion and over half of our Regional Directors, and a similar proportion of our Home Managers have been promoted internally.

I would like to congratulate Redbridge Council on the approach they have taken to selecting providers for inclusion on their supported living framework. Aine Ni Chonchuir, our Assessment and Referral Manager, and I, were interviewed by Redbridge on Tuesday for inclusion on their Framework. We should know the result in a couple of weeks’ time. We were interviewed by two people with learning disabilities who had prepared their own questions, some of which were pretty tough, and they were clearly in the driving seat, though two staff from Redbridge were there to support them. Aine and I thought it was great that people we support are genuinely making important decisions about what happens in their borough.

We had mixed news on the tender front, winning three in Croydon, Hampshire and Newport, then hearing in the last couple of weeks that we were unsuccessful with another two. I’ve vented my spleen previously on the vagaries of the tendering process and find it a frustrating process.

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