Whittington House nursing home in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire has been praised in its latest CQC inspection report for its warm, friendly and respectful staff.
The home – which was taken over by Caring Homes last year and provides residential and nursing care for up to 66 people who have nursing needs – was rated as providing a ‘good’ overall care service in the inspection which took place in February.
Since the takeover the management team and home team have worked hard to improve standards at Whittington House, previously rated by CQC as ‘requires improvement’. Residents and their relatives were all positive about the takeover and felt the home was improving. One said: “The standard of care is very good. Caring Homes, they tick all the boxes.”
The CQC – Care Quality Commission – praised the home, noting that staff cared for people respectfully and witnessing many warm exchanges during the inspection. Staff were seen to be ‘friendly and respectful’. They knew the residents well and adapted their approach and manner to suit each person. Dignity and privacy were valued and residents felt relaxed, comfortable and safe.
One resident told inspectors; “Look at my nails! The carer did this yesterday because I was a bit down.” A relative also praised the staff saying; “Staff took mum to Tewkesbury to go to the hairdressers, because that’s what she wanted, I think that’s over and above.”
Whittington House has recently employed a new chef and a hospitality team and a recent meal survey has helped identify people’s preferences.
One resident said; “I’ve never had to ask for a drink or a biscuit. There’s always a biscuit coming if you have a cup of tea.” Another added; “The choice is reasonable, they know what I like. I’m a bit funny with food, the smells. If I don’t like it they take it away and there’s always something else.”
Staff had received regular training since the home became part of the Caring Homes family and plans are in place for key staff to become champions in subjects such as falls and dementia care.
One member of staff said; “The home has definitely improved. We are now supported and trained to do our role.” Another added; “I feel confident in the new owners, they know what they are doing. It’s a lot more professional.”
Inspectors spent time walking around the home and observing how staff interacted with residents, they interviewed six residents and seven visitors. To find out about people’s experience of living at Whittington House inspectors spoke with seven members of the care staff team and other staff including two activity co-ordinators, the head chef, the registered manager and a regional manager. The care records of ten people were examined as well as six staff files, safeguarding reports, accident and complaints records.
Lyndsey Dixon, Home Manager, said: “The takeover had been a challenging period and we now have an excellent staff team in place. Everyone has worked really hard to turn things around. The staff are managing really well with all the changes here and all the additional training we are asking them to do.
“At Caring Homes we want to ensure that our home is just that – a caring home and we are all extremely happy at the praise we received from inspectors in the report following their visit to Whittington House.”