The Good Care Group based in Waterloo, south London, has achieve the highest ratings the Care Quality Commission can give – five Outstanding ratings in all categories.
The domiciliary care service was rated Outstanding overall and for being safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. At a previous inspection in 2016 the service was also rated Outstanding overall – with two Outstanding ratings, the rest were Good.
The Good Care Group provides care and support for people in their own homes. At the time of inspection in February 2019 there were 250 people using the service, the majority older people living with dementia.
Debbie Ivanova, CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, said: “I am delighted to be able to congratulate everybody linked to The Good Care Group, in achieving five Outstanding ratings across the board.
“Management and staff have achieved excellent levels of care and we heard nothing but good things from people who use the service and their relatives. The Good Care Group has reached standards that are a beacon that other Adult Social Care services should aspire to.”
People using the service told inspectors they thought it was unique in its delivery of care. Typical comments included: “Wonderful service. I do not feel I could survive without them” and “Excellent services that has truly given me a life line.”
There were champions within the service such as specialist dementia nurses, occupational therapists and an independent advisory board which provided first rate clinical leadership.
There was an open culture in which all safety concerns raised were used as a source of learning and improvement. Learning was based on a thorough analysis and investigation when things went wrong. There was an independent investigating officer who was responsible for looking at complaints, safeguarding incidents and identifying any points of learning. There was evidence that the provider was
open to accepting new ways to drive improvement.
People praised the provider for being proactive in relation to their health. Comments included: “They are wonderful, always keeping an eye on my health”; “They are brilliant, always doing prevention so we do not have my relative getting worse”; “They are always on the ball, they ensure that my relative is well as can be. They aim for prevention, never ignoring any issues” and “They always go the extra mile.”
One healthcare professional said, “From what I have experienced, working alongside the organisation, I would describe them as innovative, holistic in their approach and not afraid to try something new to improve resources, direct services and the experience for their employees.”
The provider had introduced urinalysis kits and trained all staff in their use for the early identification of potential Urinary Tract Infections, one of the primary reasons for hospital admissions. This had produced very positive results and a decrease of 60% in the number of related hospital admissions among people who use the service.
The service was involved in numerous community initiatives, in partnership with other health and social care organisations. These were all based around supporting people to remain independent and to feel part of the communities they lived in. One of the business development managers was co-chair of the Sevenoaks Area Dementia Friendly Community Forum.
The provider had continued to be timely and effective in response to emergencies through the rapid response team, a team of experienced and skilled care workers who were available to provide extra support where needed.
There was a head of internal communications and employee engagement who was responsible for staff engagement. They reported directly to the chief executive officer and were independent to the operations team. The senior management team and the board took an active interest in listening to the views of staff. A weekly care workers’ lunch was chaired by one of the directors.
The Good Care Group was aware of the importance of promoting workforce well-being and the positive impact this would have on the quality and continuity of care. It had started a number of initiatives to help ensure its care workers, who often worked in isolation, were well supported.
Leaders, managers and staff strove for excellence through consultation, research and reflective practice. One healthcare professional said: “I have collaborated with The Good Care Group for nearly two years and will continue to do so because of their passion, focus and enthusiasm to create positive change for people affected by dementia.”
You can read the inspection report in full when it is published on CQC’s website by clicking on https://www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-1489174477