Gloucestershire learning disability service awarded top rating by Care Quality Commission

Morton-in-Marsh team

A service in Moreton-in-Marsh supporting people with learning disabilities to live independently in their own homes has been rated as ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Gloucestershire DCA (Domiciliary Care Agency), run by national learning disabilities charity Hft, was described as “exceptionally caring” and “extremely responsive” following its inspection at the end of June.

Adult social care services are inspected by CQC to determine whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. Gloucestershire DCA was rated as ‘outstanding’ in two of the five areas and as ‘good’ in the other three. The service was awarded an overall rating of ‘Outstanding’ placing it in the top two per cent of adult social care services inspected by CQC.

The newly published report noted that both management and care staff had a “good understanding of people’s needs and wishes and consistently went the extra mile to communicate and support them effectively.” It also recognised the specific focus “given to getting to know each person as an individual” and the “strong commitment to deliver a high standard of personalised care and continued improvement.”

The inspectors received positive feedback from people supported at the service and their relatives who explained how staff went above and beyond what was expected of them. One person described staff as “really friendly and helpful” and others highlighted how the service encouraged them to be as independent as possible. This included support from staff to gain voluntary or paid employment with seven of the 12 people receiving support having regular jobs.

Hft, which was established in 1962, uses its own unique Fusion Model to consistently deliver high quality, creative, person-centred support across all its services. At Moreton-in-Marsh services range from supporting people to manage their own homes, to taking part in daily activities, finding work, making friends and developing relationships.

The Registered Manager for Gloucestershire DCA, Judy Johnson, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our service has been rated as ‘Outstanding’. The people we support are at the centre of everything we do. For us it is all about supporting people to live the best life possible by empowering them to live with more independence and choice. This rating is a testament to the dedication and hard work of staff in working to that goal.”

To date, of Hft’s registered services that have been rated under the new CQC inspection regime, 94% have received a rating of ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’.

The Morton-in-Marsh service also has a second reason to celebrate: a long-standing staff member, Anna Kendry, has just reached her 40-year milestone of working for Hft. “Forty years is such an achievement,” said Judy. “Dedicated, established staff members are vital in delivering high-quality person-centred support, and Anna has demonstrated this throughout her time with us.”