Christmas card competition, disappointing CQC ratings and a new service in Guildford

02 December 2015

I visited 17 services last week and was particularly impressed with the efforts made by the team at The Droveway in Brighton to make their service look really festive. There were lots of lovely quality Christmas decorations and clearly a great deal of thought had gone into planning the layout. This doesn’t surprise me as they are a staff team who are very committed to the people they support. I spoke to the Manager, Clara, who asked me to include in my blog a thanks to CMG for all the support that has been provided to a member of staff in her team. Very sadly, her husband, who also worked for CMG, passed away last week. He had been very poorly for a number of months. Clara said that she couldn’t praise CMG enough for all of the practical and emotional support that her member of staff had received.

On the subject of Christmas, every year, we have a Christmas card competition, where we encourage people we support to send in their ideas and artwork. The winning Christmas Card then gets printed and issued, not only within CMG, but to all our external stakeholders. Hotly contended, the competition had over 80 fantastic entries and the winning entry came from two people we support at our Kempshott Road service. They will receive copies of the Christmas Card to send to their own friends and family! Second and third place winners received vouchers to spend.

Last week was a disappointing week for CMG because we received 3 draft inspection reports, all of which were rated as ‘requires improvement’. This is a fairly new experience for us as the vast majority of inspection reports from CQC are rated ‘good’. In two cases, I agreed with the rating and the reason in both cases is fundamentally the same. Both services both had quite a high turnover of home managers. One left, they were replaced by a second, who didn’t stay for very long for different reasons and then we had to recruit a third manger. The disruption which that caused particularly to consistency of paperwork, had an impact on quality. Once again, it shows the importance of having a good and consistent manager. In the third case, I do think CQC were rather picky and not proportionate. They found us as ‘requires improvement’ on two out of five areas, ‘responsive’ and ‘well-led’, which meant the overall service was rated as ‘requires improvement’. There was one issue of concern under responsive and around ten positive comments from the inspector and the same under ‘well-led’. In the case of ‘well-led’, the issue of concern has already been addressed by the new manager in the service and was acknowledged by the inspector. We will have a look to see whether there is scope to challenge this one.

Finally, I would like to welcome, the people we support and their staff from Raymond Crescent in Guildford who joined CMG a couple of weeks ago. I am very impressed with the staff team whose person centred values very much fit with our approach in CMG and I hope the people we support will be able to get actively involved in the various activities we organise throughout the company. One of them is a talented artist and I’ve agreed with him that we will look to hold a display of his material in our central office in Leatherhead.

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