Derwent Cottage graded outstanding

Derwent Cottage is one of our residential care homes in North Yorkshire, supporting four people with learning disabilities, autism, mental health and other complex needs. 

The service has been rated outstanding by the CQC for the eighth year in a row. This is an amazing achievement from the team at Derwent Cottage, showcasing why we are the sector-leading provider of health and social care. 

We spoke to Derwent Cottage Service Manager, Kelly Barnard, to find out about their journey and how they’ve managed to maintain their CQC Outstanding rating. 

How have you maintained your CQC Outstanding rating?

“We reviewed the Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOES) elements of the CQC report which are Safe, Effective, Caring, Responsive, and Well-led. As well as checking if we were meeting these areas, we ensured we were evidencing how we were meeting them. I believe evidencing your work is essential to ensuring CQC success because it shows off all your amazing work.

Our team has access to continual learning and training opportunities when they join the service. They are also required to learn and understand new policies and procedures around safeguarding, how to report abuse and are encouraged to maintain thorough knowledge of the people we support. This gives CQC inspectors insight into our sector-leading approach and demonstrates how training constantly develops our team’s skill set and knowledge.”

How do the people we support feel about the news? 

“Everyone at Derwent Cottage feels an immense sense of pride about the rating and this pride grows each year we manage to retain the rating. It provides the families of the people we support with reassurance that their loved ones are being cared for by a high-quality team who continue to set the bar high.

It’s a real challenge to maintain an Outstanding rating, especially for eight years and even more so given that we’ve done it through the pandemic. It just shows, hard work pays off and we are making a real difference to people’s lives.”

What do CQC moderators say during their inspection?

“Each time CQC inspectors come to the service they are always impressed with the care and support we provide, especially around the fact we are always willing to go the extra mile to ensure positive outcomes are achieved. Our leadership, teamwork and culture is exceptional and ensures the people we support receive personalised care tailored to them. 

Our reputation as an Outstanding service shows inspectors how we continuously work to improve and achieve the best outcomes and they were delighted with the compassionate and responsive approach of our staff. Health professionals tend to describe our service as “refreshing” and “the best they have experienced” – we’ll take that!”

What does great quality care look like to you? 

Great quality care is about being prepared to challenge others when they aren’t adhering to the high-standards people deserve. Sadly, some professionals still lack the understanding required when caring for people with learning disabilities. You must be proactive and constantly think “what more could I do to support this person.”

For example, someone we support suddenly started to sleep more and the team noticed other small changes in their behaviour. We knew this person’s routine very well and found it unusual, but healthcare professionals thought nothing of it. We kept fighting for the person we support and eventually they were supported to undertake tests. The tests revealed she had cancer and we are so thankful we managed to catch it in time. I truly believe it’s that type of fighting spirit has helped us maintain our Outstanding rating and this resonates throughout our team.”

How can services achieve an Outstanding rating? 

You need to think outside the box and look at different ways you can implement changes. I currently have four areas in the Outstanding mark and one in good.  My aim is to ensure the fifth element is rated Outstanding in the next inspection. If you have the hunger to always improve, it will help you to achieve outstanding. Ask the inspector what you can do to be better and work on it. 

Leading from the top is also extremely important. It brings a sense of belonging and closeness to your team. Encourage them to be innovative and explore new ways they can support individuals to achieve their goals. 

Find out more 

If you’d like to learn more about our residential care homes and how we can support you, a loved one, or a client to live their best lives, complete our quick and easy enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch!

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