I visited 11 services last week and was particularly impressed to see the fantastic improvements that have been made to the garden at Brook Lane. Thanks to the fundraising efforts of one of the parents of a person we support who lives there, they have now installed a whole range of really attractive equipment in the garden. I was also very impressed when I went to Stubbington Lane in Hampshire to see some great person centred active support taking place. It always gives me pleasure seeing people we support meaningfully engaged in everyday activities like choosing and making their lunch and doing the cleaning. Dave Paradise, the Registered Manager, is doing an excellent job preparing for his forthcoming CQC inspection. I am particularly impressed with the work the team at Stubbington Lane do in supporting people with epilepsy. Their tracking of seizures and the quality of their epilepsy support plans is exceptional. I really hope this is recognised with an ’Outstanding’ rating. Congratulations also to New Dawn and Willesden Lane who received their draft CQC inspection reports last week, both rated as ‘Good’ in all 5 areas and ‘Good’ overall.
I also wanted to mention the team at Ty Nant in Wales, who have really high quality daily diary recordings in place. The service has also been short staffed recently and they have maintained a great team spirit and positive morale. The individuals they support have very complex autism and can present significant challenges, so well done!
As you know a regular part of my working life involves conversations with staff about pay. Pay increases are linked to whether or not we get fee increases from our commissioners, mostly Local Authorities. Some Local Authorities have offered small inflationary increases, some have refused to give any increase and there are a number who we still haven’t heard from. I have now also written to the Lead Councillor for Adult Social Care in each of those Authorities requesting a meeting so that I can put the case face to face for CMG’s fees to be raised. So far, I have heard back from one Councillor who I am meeting next week. We are also going to be pushing at a national level for fees to be increased. There is now a recognition for fee increases in older people’s services as there is a real risk of care homes going out of business. Similarly in the learning disability sector, lots of homes are closing as their owners can no longer balance the books. I think there is a hidden crisis coming where there will be insufficient places in either residential care or supported living for the people that need them.
Finally I would like to mention that I am really looking forward to CMG’s 20th Anniversary (England) celebration next week. We have fantastic day of events planned including circus workshops and live music. The people we support told us how they want to celebrate the anniversary and we have planned the day around their wishes. We are inviting people we support, their families and staff to come along and are expecting over 450 people. If you would like to attend, please contact sue.pym@cmg. co.uk. Our Welsh services will be holding a separate event, later in the year and I will give you more information on this in due course.