Hollyhurst care service in Darlington rated ‘Good’ by CQC


Hollyhurst residential care service in Darlington has been praised by the regulator, the Care Quality Commission, for the quality of its care and support.


Hollyhurst, which is operated by the Danshell Group, was given a ‘Good’ rating by the independent regulator.  


It provides nursing care and support for 19 people with a learning disability who may also have other complex needs, such as mental ill-health, autism, epilepsy or behaviour that may challenge. The service is made up of a large house, with a bungalow situated within its grounds.


Staff were praised in the report, which noted that they ‘supported people who used the service with their social and emotional needs. We observed that all staff were very caring in their interactions with people at the service. People clearly felt very comfortable with staff members and there was a warm and positive atmosphere in the service and people were very relaxed. We saw people being treated with dignity and respect and relatives and people told us that staff were kind and professional.’


Relatives also gave supportive comments, including:  “I trust the staff 100%”, “There is an improvement with [name] being at Hollyhurst,” and “they send a monthly newsletter with photos and they are comforting, it keeps us informed.”


Since joining Hollyhurst in January 2016, Manager Jo Crook has implemented a significant number of initiatives, which together with the hard work of her team have led to the ‘Good’ rating. People are supported to take part in more meaningful activities, both in the service and in the local community.   

Events including a summer festival and black-tie Christmas Ball, with an awards ceremony celebrating service user achievements, have increased community engagement and the service users’ allotment is planning to be even bigger and better this summer. This year Hollyhurst will also host Danshell’s own X-Factor singing competition and excitement is already building for this.


‘Slimming World’ food options and an exercise and activity programme have been devised to support healthy lifestyle choices, along with a dedicated Sports Co-ordinator who visits the service to engage with service users and encourage them to keep active.


Jo Crook, Manager at Hollyhurst, said:  “I’m thrilled with the feedback from the CQC.   It has been a real team effort and everyone has pulled together to make Hollyhurst the fantastic place it is today.


“We have taken all the feedback on board.  The inspector noticed that our huge dining room, which is amazing for holding events, could be noisy at times so we have commissioned an acoustic survey and will be installing sound absorbing materials to address this.


“Making sure that the people we support live as independent and fulfilling lives as possible is the most important thing and enabling them to experience new things is also really important. I’m delighted that we are doing this in so many different and exciting ways.”


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