A specialist dementia facility based in Harrogate has become the first in the UK to be awarded outstanding by the Care Quality Commission.
Vida Hall in Harrogate achieved the highest rating ever given to a specialist dementia facility, and is also the first care home in the northern region to achieve an outstanding award under the new, more rigorous CQC inspection criteria, which was introduced last October.
Debbie Westhead, Deputy Chief Inspector for Adult Social Care in the North, said:
“We found that Vida Hall was providing an outstanding service to the people it supported and to their families, and the team there should be extremely proud of the work they do.
“It is particularly pleasing to note the many positive comments from people and the systems and process in place to identify risk to people’s health and wellbeing.
“It is very clear that Vida Hall has adopted some ground-breaking initiatives. Staff act with utmost professionalism and management was dedicated to providing a safe, compassionate and high quality service. It is for this and many other reasons why the service has received the highest rating we can give.”
Vida Hall is owned by Harrogate-based, Vida Healthcare, which was set up in 2010 by father and son team, Chris and James Rycroft, with a view to developing a pioneering new care home for people living with dementia, after recognizing that the care sector wasn’t meeting the increasing demands for specialist dementia facilities.
Vida Hall is Vida Healthcare’s first facility. The 70-bed facility provides residential and day care for people living with dementia and opened in February 2013, creating 120 new jobs and having taken three years to plan, design and develop, with every single aspect thoroughly researched to bring together the best in current thinking in the field of dementia care.
Plans for a new 125-bed second facility, also in Harrogate*, were approved by planners yesterday (Tuesday 17th February) and could see the first residents moving in late Spring/Summer 2016.
Vida Healthcare’s Managing Director, James Rycroft explains:
“We set out to be a centre of excellence and to change perceptions about dementia care and that aim runs through everything. We are very proud of our amazing team who are very passionate about what they do and this CQC report is a fantastic endorsement of them and all their efforts.”
Mrs Judith Clint, whose mother, Carrie Holt, has lived at Vida since just after it opened nearly two years ago, says: “I am very passionate about the quality of care that I have witnessed on my mother’s behalf over the past five years after she was diagnosed with dementia; it’s been quite a learning curve for me and at times very frustrating. Not until her transfer to Vida Hall on its opening around 2 years ago did I feel that she was getting the standard of care she required and that her needs were being sensitively catered for.”
Commenting on today’s announcement, Andrew Jones MP, said: “This is a significant achievement and my congratulations go to the whole team at Vida Hall for this exceptional result.
“To be the top rated care home in our country is testament to how hard the team is working and how quality care is at the heart of all they do.
“We now have a much more rigorous inspection regime for care homes, GP surgeries and hospitals and it is harder to achieve top marks so these results are even more impressive.
“I have been involved in this process through my role in the health team in Westminster and it is very satisfying to see a local home, which I have known throughout its development, do so well.
“It is all about standards and how we can provide better care in our country and I will point people to this inspection result so that they can learn from it.”
Vida Healthcare’s approach includes providing specialist care, which enables residents to reduce their dependency on antipsychotic medication. Design experts specialising in dementia care have also been consulted by Vida Healthcare to create environments with innovative design features and facilities, such as landscaping and sensory gardens, which support the needs of patients with the condition.
Registered Manager, Bernadette Mossman, who was highly praised in the report, adds: “Dementia is not an exact science, it is a journey and we are constantly learning new things about it. In particular, we need to be comfortable with change, adapting to individual and general needs as they arise, often on a daily basis.
“First time visitors are often surprised at how happy a place Vida Hall is and our team demonstrates on a daily basis to families that it is possible for their loved ones to lead happy and fulfilling lives, as they continue on their journey living with dementia.”
Vida has worked closely with leading clinical psychologist, Dr Aimee Spector, in the field of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy, which she developed as an innovative treatment for people with mild to moderate dementia. It is the first time Dr Spector has used such a training package in order to embed the principles of CST into the ethos of a new home.
The company is firmly committed to being innovative in its approach to training, self awareness and personal growth. The appointment of a progressive training manager supports this commitment and makes sure the true values of Person Centred Care remains central to residents, families and staff.
The unique role of the company operations director who addresses all aspects of hotel services and health and safety allows the registered manager to focus fully on the bespoke specialist dementia services within the home.
Registered manager, Bernadette Mossman, believes the combination of the right carer supported by excellent training and motivation can make all the difference to families living with dementia: “We are fully transparent in everything we do and what was fantastic for us as employers was that those members of staff questioned by the report all said they would not want to work anywhere else.”
Vida is committed to creating up to five specialist dementia homes with a total of 400 places and has received financial backing from Yorkshire Banks’ Business and Private Banking Centre in York.