Congratulations to Kim Long and her staff team at Masons Hill’s supported living service in Bromley which received an extremely good CQC report last week. Her service was judged as ‘outstanding’ for ‘well-led’ and ‘good’ on all four other areas. We believe that one of the other four areas should also be an outstanding and are putting together a factual accuracy challenge. If we are successful, this would make this our third outstanding rated service. We have checked the list of 27 current outstanding services across England and we are the only learning disability provider in the country to have two services meeting the outstanding service. This is something we are very proud of, but we are not complacent and are hoping to get several more.
Just on CQC, generally I think the new rating service works very well and is much better than the previous arrangement of having either compliant or non-compliant services which didn’t motivate managers and staff to continuously improve. My one criticism is that the ‘good’ category seems too broad. I think we have now got 18 services rated as good since the new system came in. At the bottom end, we have had a couple of services that have scraped over the threshold, but a lot of our services which are extremely good, have had fantastic reports which must be close to an outstanding. I have suggested to CQC that they consider adding an additional category of ‘very good’ for those services which are doing really well but don’t quite meet the criteria of good.
I had a constructive discussion with our CQC provider Relationship Manager on Friday and he gave me the following up to date statistics on the numbers of services inspected in England so far in the different categories:
Requires improvement 2,147
I would like to say a big well done to Leigh Iliffe, Karla AlHassan and all the team at our Deer Lodge resource centre in Brighton. They arranged a fantastic opening ceremony for Deer Lodge which was recently built on Dyke Road in Brighton with a fully re-furbished hydro therapy pool next door. It was a super event and it was great to see families attending. They put on some lovely food and there was a marvellous dance routine by people we support who live in our Brighton services. I would also like to say a big thank you to the worshipful Lady Mayor of Brighton who took the time to come and officially open the service. We want to get the best use out of our hydrotherapy pool and are marketing it to members of the public, as well as people with disabilities.
I’ll end this blog with another piece of positive news from Brighton. For a number of months now, we have been chasing a planning application with Brighton and Hove City Council to purpose build two eight-bed residential homes on the site of our former Brelade Centre just off the A23. The reason for this, is that we accommodate a number of people with learning disabilities in services in the city, whose needs are changing as they get older with some people finding it difficult to get up and down the stairs. We heard this week that our planning application was successful which means that in the next year, we can build two new services to the highest possible standard which will be fully wheelchair accessible and much better quality accommodation for the people concerned. It also means that we will provide valuable infrastructure for Brighton and Hove to use in the long term as they struggle to find appropriate accommodation for people with learning disabilities. Apparently it was a lively debate at the planning committee and we won by seven votes to five.