Specialist support and housing provider receives ‘outstanding’ in all five ratings for its social care


Welmede, the support and housing provider, which has recently become an operating subsidiary of support provider Avenues Group, has received the rare award of ‘outstanding’ in all five ratings by the Care Quality Commission following a recent inspection of its person-centred support services to people with a learning disability living in their own homes.

The Chertsey-based service provides personal care to some 329 people spread over a large geographical area of Surrey.

The CQC report, published on Friday 17 February 2017, awarded the highest quality of care in all five of its categories – designating Welmede’s services as exemplary in the areas of safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led.  .

The three inspectors gave a detailed account of all aspects of care, citing it as exceptional. Staff found innovative ways to manage people’s risk and keep people safe, while ensuring they had a full and meaningful life. People and relatives felt that staff often went ‘the extra mile’ for them, booking films, accompanying them to a concert or organising a birthday party.

In the ‘responsive service’ category people’s care and support was planned proactively, in partnership with them, and ways were found to overcome obstacles. The personalised care which staff provided was responsive to their individual needs and preferences, and they were encouraged to pursue their interests and hobbies.

Also, staff training was commended, particularly in how to recognise and report abuse. The inspectors were confident that any allegations would be taken seriously and investigated to help people ensure they were protected.

This is Welmede’s second outstanding rating. It received its previous one in June 2016 for Stiperstones, Chobham, a care home for up to eight people with different forms of learning disabilities.

Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the Care Quality Commission, says of this latest achievement:

“I am delighted Welmede has achieved its second outstanding rating following our recent inspection.

“We have rightly set the bar high for services to be rated outstanding. It is good to see excellent leaders who value and care for their staff and focus on a truly person-centred approach meeting that high standard and providing great care for the people they support.

“Everyone deserves to experience care that we’d all be happy for any of our loved ones to receive and I wish Welmede all the very best in continuing to make the ‘Mum Test’ real.”

It was an Avenues supported living service that was the first to be rated as ‘outstanding’ in all five areas inspected by the Care Quality Commission Avenues Group on 4 September 2015.  Avenues South East Supported Living services provides support to over 80 adults and young people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and mental health needs in their own homes across Kent, Medway and Surrey.

Steve James, Group Chief Executive Officer at Avenues says: “I am delighted with this second ‘outstanding’ inspection result for the Group’s supported living services, which is actually our third now that Avenues and Welmede have merged.   It reflects a high quality service and staff commitment and I congratulate Steve Whittingham, Director of Operations, and his team on this result.  It proves that outstanding support can still be provided despite the significant challenges facing social care”.

Steve Whittingham adds “The team at Welmede is thrilled to have achieved the outstanding rating although they see it simply just as a result of what they do every day.

“In the current climate of limited resources and staffing challenges their passion to make a positive impact is demonstrated by working flexibly to ensure that people are supported in a consistent way by people that they know.”


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