Second Council care facility rated 'Outstanding'

Posted: 10 July 2018

Blaydon House teamThe Care Quality Commission (CQC) has awarded an 'Outstanding' rating for a second Gateshead Council care service.

Blaydon Lodge, a Council-run respite facility for people with complex disabilities, has been judged 'Outstanding' by CQC inspectors following a recent three-day inspection.

In their detailed inspection report, the inspectors said that when they last inspected Blaydon Lodge they had rated it as 'Good', but that following the latest inspection the service has improved to 'Outstanding'."

Blaydon Lodge was providing 'outstanding care that was tailored specifically to the individual needs of each person', says the report.

"Relatives described the service as a 'top quality service', 'absolutely the best place we have ever been to' and 'fantastic'," said the inspectors. "They told us the staff team were 'fantastic' and were extremely caring towards their family members."

"We heard about numerous occasions when staff went 'above and beyond' to ensure people's, sometimes with very complex needs, were supported to achieve their choices and aspirations," said the report.

Inspectors highlighted one occasion when a client expressed a desire to fulfil an ambition to attend a rock concert for the first time. Not only did the staff carry out detailed planning to enable that to happen, they also arranged for the person to meet the artist, have their photo taken and receive a signed photo and poster. Staff described the person as being 'over the moon' following the experience.

"Without exception, relatives gave the highest praise about the care provided to their family members," said the inspectors.  "One relative said, 'The staff are absolutely fantastic. It doesn't matter which staff are in, they always get well looked after' while another described Blaydon Lodge as 'absolutely the best place we have ever been to and we have tried a few in the past.'

The inspectors also noted that the service's premises was 'clean, well decorated and in a good state of repair' and that staff 'had an excellent understanding of people's needs' and were 'very much supported in their role and received the training they needed.'

Councillor Michael McNestry, cabinet member for Adult Social Care, said: "This is an astonishing and uplifting report."

"To hear such elaborate praise from inspectors whose job it is to be alert to any deficiency no matter how small is truly remarkable.

"This report is a clear reflection of the skills and professionalism of what is clearly a brilliant care team. It's obvious that each staff member has a well-developed understanding of people's needs, and a deep and powerful sense of care.

"It makes me incredibly proud that one of our care teams are delivering such fantastic care to local people - and doubly proud that we now have two services which have been judged among the very best in the UK.

"We are extremely lucky to have such two sets of highly professional and committed teams of carers in Gateshead."

Blaydon Lodge is the second care service in Gateshead to be awarded an 'Outstanding' rating, with Shadon House in Birtley having been awarded the top rating in 2016.

Nationally, only 2 in every 1,000 care services can expect to receive an 'outstanding' status, so having two outstanding services operated by the same council is rare.

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