Agricola House is one of our specialist brain injury rehabilitation services in Greater Manchester, supporting eight individuals with an acquired brain injury. The service has recently been rated Good by the regulatory body, Care Quality Commission (CQC). This is an amazing achievement for the team at Agricola House and demonstrates our continued commitment to providing great quality care and support.
We spoke to the Service Manager at Agricola House, Jack Murray, to find out more about their journey and the steps they took to achieve a ‘Good’ rating from the CQC.
How did you prepare for the inspection?
“Before the inspection, the Deputy Manager prepared a list of key items the inspectors would evaluate. She discussed this with the rest of the staff team, reassuring them that they simply needed to continue doing the amazing work they do usually.
The people we support were also made aware of the inspection and were advised that if they felt uncomfortable talking to the inspectors they didn’t have to. However, the people we support had the confidence to speak to the inspectors and gladly gave them feedback on the service, which was really positive.”
What steps did Agricola House take to be graded ‘Good’ by the CQC?
“When I became Service Manager two years ago, it was a challenging time for the whole team as it was at the start of the pandemic. But we persevered and the staff team, as well as the people we support, are a complete credit to Voyage Care and help to make Agricola House what it is today.
Staff always go above and beyond to ensure we deliver high-quality person-centred care. We do this in a variety of ways, one of which is ensuring each person we support is engaged in their support plan. This is their home, and we think it’s important that they are involved in even the little things, such as food planning and making sure their bedroom is exactly how they want it.
We also hold regular meetings and questionnaires to ensure the people we support are at the heart of every decision. This includes getting their thoughts and ideas on the activities they want to participate in and making sure they are actively involved in directing their rehabilitation pathway. For example, we always sit down and have a chat about their goals for the coming month and how we can support them to achieve them.
But it’s not just about the care and support the team provides, it’s also about recognising their hard work too. Every month we ask staff to nominate their employee of the month, to ensure people receive recognition and this truly reflects our culture and values.
The final important way we prepared, which has made the service better as a whole, is through listening to feedback and implementing real changes. We’ve found that having an open-door policy gives staff members the opportunity to voice their ideas and has helped develop an open and honest culture, which also boosts staff morale.”
How did the everyone respond to the inspector’s feedback?
“Everyone was really pleased by the rating and that our hard work had paid off. It’s nice to hear that our care, support and dedication to each individual’s rehabilitation path has been recognised, and it feels even more rewarding after of the challenges we’ve all faced through COVID-19.
When we received the report, every staff member was given employee of the month for that month, to show that we recognised everyone’s hard work and determination throughout the inspection process. We printed out the report so the staff team and people we support could read the feedback from the inspectors and understand what we need to do to reach Outstanding.”
What’s next for Agricola House?
“We are currently reviewing all the feedback from the inspectors, staff, and the people we support, to keep improving Agricola House. We are determined to make more positive changes so that when the next inspection is due, will can achieve an Outstanding rating.
As part of this, we’ve created a feedback board to showcase the changes people have suggested and to demonstrate how we’ve implemented those changes or listened to feedback.”
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