Kingston upon Thames care home rated Outstanding overall by Care Quality Commission

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Coombe Hill Manor care home in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames has been rated Outstanding overall by the Care Quality Commission.

It was rated Outstanding for being caring and responsive. It was rated Good for being safe, effective and well-led, following the inspection in November 2018.

Coombe Hill Manor is a care home providing nursing, personal care and support for up to 104 older people. The service has a specialist dementia care unit known as ‘Auguste’ which can accommodate and care for up to 24 people. At the time of CQC’s inspection, 89 people were living at the home.

The service was exceptionally caring. The registered manager and her team were committed to providing high quality compassionate care. Inspectors observed excellent relationships between staff and people using the service. Comments from people using the service included: “The stars are the carers” and “The staff just make this place.”

Respect and dignity was at the heart of the service with people and their relatives consistently saying that staff were very respectful, kind and caring. There was also a strong emphasis on ensuring compassion, dignity and respect at the end of a person’s life. In a June 2018 organisational survey of people using the service, over 95% of respondents said that the service respected their dignity, privacy and confidentiality. The provider had four dedicated dignity champions whose role and responsibilities included ensuring staff at all levels knew how to treat people with the utmost dignity and respect they deserved.

CQC observed two people in the Auguste care unit carrying dolls of babies which they were looking after and taking great comfort from. Inspectors watched a staff member offering to look after the baby whilst the person ate their lunch. They held the doll gently and reassured the person that they were looking after it. The person ate their meal without distress.

Some people living with dementia had experienced loss in their ability to communicate with their friends and relatives. Staff supported them in finding ways to connect with their friends and family including through the use of digital technology. One staff member organised and held regular sessions to help people use their tablets and computers to email, text, and make video calls.

People using the service had access to two restaurants, lounge areas, a café, a library, an activities room and a cinema. Entertainers, including musicians and singers regularly visited the home to perform. One person said they were particularly fond of an opera singer who regularly sang at the home.

The service was actively involved with the local community. The home hosted a regular play group with toddlers interacting with residents. Inspectors observed people enjoying a session with laps full of toys that the children kept giving them. One child ignored the toys and was playing with a huge cardboard box which had people laughing. Both groups were enjoying each other’s company. The children clearly knew some people and they were at ease with each other.

The service was in the process of gaining accreditation with the Gold Standards Framework (GSF). The GSF is a professional accreditation awarded to care homes in recognition of their high-quality end of life care practices.

Debbie Ivanova, Deputy Chief Inspector, Adult Social Care, said: “Coombe Hill Manor is an exceptionally caring service. Management and staff deserve fulsome praise for the work that they do.

“The many and varied activities enjoyed by people at Coombe Hill are impressive as is the use of technology to encourage people to keep in contact with friends, relatives and the outside world in general.”

You can read the inspection report in full when it is published on our website at: https://www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-1475026554

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