Service user conference, services requiring improvements and recognising long service

21 July 2015

We had another really successful Service User Conference last Thursday with over 320 staff and people we support in attendance and as usual there was a real buzz in the air. What I particularly love to see is just how much everyone enjoys the day and how much laughter there is. The day comprises of a talent show where individuals we support can get up on stage and sing or dance to a song of their choice. We have an ‘X-Factor’ type judging panel, comprising of two people we support and Rachel Dodgson, our Operations Director for England. We also have an ‘open mic’ session where people we support can go up on stage and offer any comment they like about anything they wish. This is always very popular! This year we also had a performance by ‘Fan Dance’ – a theatre group made up of individuals with PMLD and learning disabilities. Aside from this, we have a cake and art competition, make up and tattoos and other activities for the people we support to participate in.

I do believe that CMG hold some of the best events in the industry and people who attend are always surprised by just how good they are and what a great atmosphere there is. Our next big event is our Athletics Day which will be held in August and I would like to add that families of people who take part are also invited to attend this event.

I managed to visit 14 services this week including two which are rated as ‘requires improvement’ by CQC. I was glad to see progress in both services and hopefully they will be re-inspected soon and can go up to a ‘good’ rating. I am very unhappy when any CMG service falls below a ‘good’ and I hope that all our services will be rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ in England very soon. Congratulations to the team at Honeywood whose inspection report arrived last week and was rated as ‘good’. Congratulations also to the Trebanos House staff in Wales who had a good inspection report from CSSIW.

As I may have mentioned previously in my blog, the inspection system is different in England compared to Wales. In Wales the only way we have of assessing the overall quality of inspection reports, apart from comments made by the Inspector, is to count the number of ‘requirements’ in each report. Currently we have no requirements in any of our welsh services.

We have been reflecting on the feedback from people we support, families, staff and external stakeholders at our recent Driving Up Quality self assessment day. One of themes was around valuing staff who have given long service to CMG. We are giving some thought as to the best way of doing this. One idea which we would like to pilot is establishing an ‘immediate recognition board’ which would involve an area on our intranet and website where we celebrate the achievements of specific staff members who have particular milestones of 5 and 10 years service. We are planning to call this ‘CMG Heroes’. We are also looking at presenting staff who have achieved long service with monetary vouchers. I would appreciate your feedback on both these ideas.

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