A HOMECARE company founded by a mum-of two after she experienced poor care when she lost both her parents in the same year, has become the first London homecare provider to receive an Outstanding Rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in its Ofsted-style rating system.
Clare Jefferies established Home Instead Senior Care Wimbledon & Kingston five years ago to provide homecare and companionship to older people to help them continue to live in their own homes as long as possible.
After losing her father to Motor Neurone Disease and her mother to cancer within seven months of each other, Clare was inspired to start her own homecare company. Having seen an endless stream of different faces visiting her parents, carers with little time, who didn’t know her loved ones, their strengths and weaknesses, she was inspired to make a personal stand for quality homecare provision in London.
She set up Home Instead Senior Care Wimbledon & Kingston to see care delivered with dignity and with continuity of carers who would have the time to get to know the people they were looking after – a model of care described as relationship-led with visits that last a minimum of one hour.
Today, Clare has 130 elderly clients and as a local employer has a team of almost 100 care givers who deliver the quality and standards she believes in. Together the team provided 50,000 hours of personal care, home help and companionship in 2015 across Wimbledon & Kingston.
With services marked over five categories: safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led, the CQC’s Ofsted-style rating recognises the importance of compliance and credits overall quality of care service, with Outstanding the highest rating possible.
“My parents would be so proud of the fact that the homecare company I’ve built in their memory has been officially rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission. Receiving the highest rating possible from the CQC, and becoming the first homecare provider in London to receive an Outstanding rating, is a dream come true for what I set out to do, to change the face of ageing,” said Clare, who set up the company as part of national homecare provider Home Instead Senior Care UK.
“I believe in care that passes the ‘mum test’ – the standard of care that you’d be happy for your own loved one to receive,” she added. “From my own personal experience, it’s care that that would pass both the ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ test that I’m dedicated to, with the commitment of my care team.
“When my parents needed care, I often dreamed of having another me, a ‘carbon copy daughter’ who could help look after them just the way I would do, with kindness and dignity. That’s the kind of care we deliver at Home Instead Senior Care each day.”
Clients and their relatives told inspectors that the service was extremely well managed and that they felt safe with the support they received. People were involved in developing and deciding their care plans and told inspectors that their views were listened to and respected.
Sally Warren, CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector for Adult Social Care, said:
“We are delighted that Home Instead Senior Care is the first London home care provider to receive an Outstanding rating.
“We were particularly impressed with the provider’s work to ensure meaningful and positive experiences for people who use the service and the commitment of all staff to continuously seek improved outcomes for service users.
“People we spoke with were very positive about the service and the ability of staff to respond to their changing needs. Staff demonstrated a sound understanding of the differing needs of the people in their care and reflected these needs when planning and delivering services. This is a great example of what outstanding care looks like.”
Clare connects the wider community
Clare has become a champion of the wider community in turn – boosting local wellbeing, commitment recognised in the CQC’s report. Together with her care givers, they have been combatting loneliness amongst the elderly by starting a series of social clubs to give people a special diary date to look forward to with afternoon tea, lunch, and theatre clubs.
The report stated: ‘These clubs gave people the ‘feel good factor’ and a sense that they were being supported which helped them in their day to day life.’ and it recognised Home Instead’s overarching ethos: ‘Just because you are an older person, doesn’t mean your quality of life should diminish.’
When Clare started Home Instead, she had a dream of making a dementia friendly community too. She’s achieved that goal by launching memory cafes for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, social events with activities designed to stimulate reminiscence conversations.
And when the Alzheimer’s Society lost its funding for an initiative called Singing for the Brain, Home Instead stepped in to sponsor the group. They didn’t want to see it disappear as they knew it was a vital part of so many people’s lives locally.
A big heart for caring
Clare is committed to the highest standards and knows that it takes a special kind of person to provide care that passes the ‘mum test’. She says the care givers who join her team have to want to make a difference and have a ‘big heart’ for caring, an ethos recognised in the CQC’s report.
‘The care I receive is excellent, I know the care givers and that helps me to feel safe,’ a client told the CQC inspector during their visit with another saying: “The care givers are super; they always go two steps further to help me.’
“That sums up everything that my team and I stand for at Home Instead, quality care that makes older people feel safe and able to live in their own homes, surrounded by a lifetime of memories as long as possible,” added Clare.